Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Rules/Court & Tribunal Rules as made
This instrument provides for the conduct of family law and child support proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
Administered by: Attorney-General's
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation Act 2003 s 8(8)(d)
Registered 27 Aug 2021
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR30-Aug-2021
Tabled Senate31-Aug-2021
Table of contents.

 

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021

I, The Honourable William Alstergren, Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1), make the following Rules of Court.

Dated 26 August 2021

The Honourable William Alstergren

Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)

  

  

 


Contents

Chapter 1—Purpose and case management                                                                1

Part 1.1—Preliminary                                                                                                                                    1

1.01....... Name............................................................................................................................. 1

1.02....... Commencement............................................................................................................. 1

1.03....... Authority....................................................................................................................... 1

1.04....... Overarching purpose..................................................................................................... 1

1.05....... Definitions..................................................................................................................... 2

Part 1.2—Case management                                                                                                                   15

Division 1.2.1—General case management procedures                                                     15

1.06....... Court’s general powers of case management............................................................... 15

1.07....... Case Management Practice Direction.......................................................................... 16

1.08....... Other practice directions.............................................................................................. 16

Division 1.2.2—Case management procedures in particular proceedings               17

1.09....... Divorce proceedings.................................................................................................... 17

1.10....... Surrogacy proceedings................................................................................................ 17

1.11....... Medical procedure proceedings................................................................................... 18

1.12....... Financial proceedings.................................................................................................. 19

1.13....... Child support and child maintenance proceedings....................................................... 20

Division 1.2.3—Proceedings to which the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 applies            22

1.14....... Application of Division 34.4 of the Federal Court Rules 2011................................... 22

1.15....... Modifications of the Federal Court Rules 2011.......................................................... 22

1.16....... Service of subpoena.................................................................................................... 22

Division 1.2.4—Applications under the Corporations Act 2001 and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006                                                                          23

1.17....... Application of Division 1.2.4...................................................................................... 23

1.18....... Application of the Corporations Rules........................................................................ 23

1.19....... Modification of the Corporations Rules...................................................................... 23

1.20....... Application under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.................................................................................................................................... 23

Division 1.2.5—Proceedings to which the Bankruptcy Act 1966 applies                  24

1.21....... Application of Division 1.2.5...................................................................................... 24

1.22....... Application of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021              24

1.23....... Modifications of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021           24

1.24....... Forms in proceedings to which the Bankruptcy Act applies........................................ 25

Division 1.2.6—Arbitration                                                                                                               27

1.25....... Application of Division 1.2.6...................................................................................... 27

1.26....... Referral of question of law by an arbitrator................................................................. 27

1.27....... Referral of other matters to the court by the arbitrator................................................. 27

1.28....... Informing the court about awards made in arbitration................................................. 27

1.29....... Registration of awards made in arbitration.................................................................. 27

1.30....... Response to applications in relation to arbitration........................................................ 27

Part 1.3—Court’s powers in relation to the Rules                                                                     29

1.31....... Court may make orders or dispense with these Rules................................................. 29

1.32....... Applications for orders about procedures.................................................................... 29

1.33....... Failure to comply with a legislative provision or order................................................ 29

1.34....... Relief from orders....................................................................................................... 29

Chapter 2—Starting a proceeding                                                                                       31

Part 2.1—Required documents                                                                                                              32

2.01....... Which application form must be filed.......................................................................... 32

Part 2.2—Notification in certain proceedings                                                                               34

Division 2.2.1—Child abuse, family violence or other risks of harm to children 34

2.02....... Definitions for Division 2.2.1..................................................................................... 34

2.03....... Approved form for notice for the purposes of sections 67Z and 67ZBA of the Family Law Act            34

2.04....... Requirement to file Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk in parenting proceedings              34

2.05....... Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed by an interested person........... 35

2.06....... Amendment of Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk............................... 35

2.07....... Proceedings transferred from another court................................................................. 35

2.08....... Content of Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk...................................... 36

2.09....... When a notice in an approved form for the purposes of sections 67Z and 67ZBA of the Family Law Act is taken to have been filed..................................................................................................................... 36

2.10....... Requirement to file family violence orders in certain proceedings............................... 36

Division 2.2.2—Notification of other matters                                                                          38

2.11....... Notification of proceeds of crime order or forfeiture application................................. 38

2.12....... Proceeds of crime........................................................................................................ 38

2.13....... Notice of constitutional matter..................................................................................... 38

Part 2.3—Form of documents                                                                                                                40

2.14....... Formal requirements for documents............................................................................ 40

2.15....... Corporation as a party................................................................................................. 40

2.16....... Change of name of party............................................................................................. 40

2.17....... Documents not in English........................................................................................... 40

Part 2.4—Responding to an application                                                                                           41

2.18....... When to respond to an application............................................................................... 41

2.19....... Response objecting to jurisdiction............................................................................... 41

2.20....... When to file an affidavit with a response..................................................................... 41

2.21....... How to reply to a response.......................................................................................... 42

2.22....... If the application or response is not contested............................................................. 42

Part 2.5—Filing documents                                                                                                                      43

2.23....... How documents may be filed...................................................................................... 43

2.24....... Rejection of documents............................................................................................... 43

Part 2.6—Serving documents in Australia                                                                                      45

Division 2.6.1—General                                                                                                                      45

2.25....... Address for service..................................................................................................... 45

2.26....... Change of address for service..................................................................................... 45

2.27....... General requirements for service of documents........................................................... 45

2.28....... Manner of service........................................................................................................ 46

2.29....... General time limit for service....................................................................................... 47

2.30....... Time for service of subpoena...................................................................................... 47

2.31....... Time for service of applications................................................................................... 47

2.32....... Proof of service........................................................................................................... 47

2.33....... Court’s discretion in relation to service....................................................................... 48

2.34....... Service with conditions or dispensing with service..................................................... 48

Division 2.6.2—Personal service                                                                                                    49

2.35....... Personal service—general........................................................................................... 49

2.36....... Personal service through a lawyer............................................................................... 49

2.37....... Personal service on a person with a legal incapacity.................................................... 49

2.38....... Personal service on a prisoner..................................................................................... 49

2.39....... Personal service on a corporation................................................................................ 50

Division 2.6.3—Ordinary service                                                                                                   51

2.40....... Ordinary service.......................................................................................................... 51

2.41....... When service is effected.............................................................................................. 51

Division 2.6.4—Service of Application for Divorce                                                             52

2.42....... Service of application.................................................................................................. 52

2.43....... Additional requirements for service by post................................................................ 52

2.44....... Acknowledgment of service........................................................................................ 52

2.45....... Affidavit of service...................................................................................................... 52

2.46....... Evidence of service...................................................................................................... 52

2.47....... Evidence of signature and identity of person served.................................................... 53

Part 2.7—Serving documents overseas                                                                                             54

2.48....... Serving documents in New Zealand............................................................................ 54

2.49....... Serving documents in all other countries..................................................................... 54

Part 2.8—Amending documents                                                                                                           55

2.50....... Amendment by a party or court order.......................................................................... 55

2.51....... Time limit for amendment............................................................................................ 55

2.52....... Amending a document................................................................................................. 55

2.53....... Response to amended document.................................................................................. 56

2.54....... Disallowance of amendment........................................................................................ 56

Chapter 3—Parties and representation                                                                           57

Part 3.1—Necessary parties                                                                                                                     58

3.01....... Necessary parties......................................................................................................... 58

3.02....... Necessary parties to applications for parenting orders................................................. 58

Part 3.2—Adding and removing a party                                                                                         59

3.03....... Adding a party............................................................................................................. 59

3.04....... Person may apply to be included................................................................................. 60

3.05....... Party may apply to be removed................................................................................... 60

3.06....... Court may order notice to be given.............................................................................. 60

3.07....... Intervention by a person entitled to intervene.............................................................. 60

Part 3.3—Legal representation                                                                                                              62

3.08....... Right to be heard and representation............................................................................ 62

3.09....... Corporation must be represented................................................................................. 62

3.10....... Lawyer—ceasing to act............................................................................................... 62

Part 3.4—Independent children’s lawyer                                                                                        63

3.11....... Independent children’s lawyer..................................................................................... 63

Part 3.5—Litigation guardians                                                                                                               64

3.12....... Person who needs a litigation guardian....................................................................... 64

3.13....... Starting, continuing, defending or inclusion in proceeding.......................................... 64

3.14....... Who may be a litigation guardian................................................................................ 64

3.15....... Appointment of litigation guardian.............................................................................. 64

3.16....... Manager of the affairs of a party................................................................................. 65

3.17....... Notice of becoming litigation guardian........................................................................ 65

3.18....... Costs and expenses of litigation guardian.................................................................... 65

Part 3.6—Death or bankruptcy of a party                                                                                     66

Division 3.6.1—Death of party                                                                                                        66

3.19....... Death of party.............................................................................................................. 66

Division 3.6.2—Bankruptcy or insolvency of party                                                             67

3.20....... Definitions for Division 3.6.2..................................................................................... 67

3.21....... Notice of bankruptcy or personal insolvency agreement............................................. 67

3.22....... Notice under paragraph 3.21(1)(b).............................................................................. 67

3.23....... Notice under paragraph 3.21(1)(c).............................................................................. 68

3.24....... Notice of bankruptcy proceedings............................................................................... 68

3.25....... Notice of application under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act................................ 68

3.26....... Official name of trustee............................................................................................... 69

Chapter 4—Dispute resolution                                                                                                 70

Part 4.1—Requirements before applying for orders                                                                71

4.01....... Compliance with pre‑action procedures....................................................................... 71

4.02....... Requirement to file family dispute resolution certificate with application for a parenting order                72

4.03....... Requirements before seeking an interlocutory order.................................................... 72

4.04....... Consequences of failure to comply with rules 4.01 to 4.03......................................... 72

4.05....... Court’s powers to require attendance at dispute resolution event................................ 73

Part 4.2—Offers to settle a proceeding                                                                                             74

Division 4.2.1—General                                                                                                                      74

4.06....... How to make an offer.................................................................................................. 74

4.07....... Open and without prejudice offers.............................................................................. 74

4.08....... How to withdraw an offer........................................................................................... 74

4.09....... How to accept an offer................................................................................................ 75

4.10....... Counter‑offer............................................................................................................... 75

Division 4.2.2—Offers in property proceedings                                                                     76

4.11....... Compulsory offer to settle........................................................................................... 76

4.12....... Withdrawal of offer..................................................................................................... 76

Chapter 5—Interlocutory orders                                                                                           77

Part 5.1—General                                                                                                                                          78

5.01....... Effect of final orders on interlocutory orders............................................................... 78

5.02....... Restrictions on applications for interlocutory orders................................................... 78

5.03....... Time for applications seeking parenting orders for end‑of‑year school holiday period 78

5.04....... Supporting affidavit to be filed with application.......................................................... 79

5.05....... Responding to an Application in a Proceeding............................................................ 79

5.06....... When affidavit in reply to a response may be filed...................................................... 79

5.07....... Time for filing affidavits.............................................................................................. 79

5.08....... Limit on number and length of affidavits..................................................................... 79

5.09....... Duration of hearing of interlocutory application.......................................................... 80

5.10....... Administrative postponement of interlocutory hearing................................................ 80

Part 5.2—Applications without notice                                                                                               81

5.11....... Applications without notice......................................................................................... 81

5.12....... Necessary procedural orders....................................................................................... 81

Part 5.3—Hearing on papers in absence of parties without oral hearing                    82

5.13....... Decisions in the absence of the parties without an oral hearing................................... 82

5.14....... Court decision to require attendance............................................................................ 82

5.15....... Procedure for hearing in absence of parties without an oral hearing............................ 82

Part 5.4—Applications in relation to property                                                                             83

Division 5.4.1—Orders for inspection, etc, of property                                                     83

5.16....... Orders about property................................................................................................. 83

5.17....... Service of application.................................................................................................. 83

5.18....... Inspection by court...................................................................................................... 83

Division 5.4.2—Search orders                                                                                                         84

5.19....... Application for search order........................................................................................ 84

5.20....... Requirements for grant of search order....................................................................... 84

5.21....... Independent lawyers.................................................................................................... 85

5.22....... Costs........................................................................................................................... 85

Division 5.4.3—Freezing orders                                                                                                     86

5.23....... Application for freezing order..................................................................................... 86

5.24....... Ancillary orders........................................................................................................... 86

5.25....... Order may be against a person not a party to proceeding............................................ 86

5.26....... Costs........................................................................................................................... 87

Part 5.5—Applications for suppression or non‑publication orders                                 88

5.27....... Application for suppression or non‑publication order................................................. 88

Chapter 6—Disclosure and subpoenas                                                                            89

Part 6.1—Duty of disclosure                                                                                                                    90

Division 6.1.1—General duty of disclosure                                                                               90

6.01....... General duty of disclosure........................................................................................... 90

6.02....... Undertaking by party................................................................................................... 90

6.03....... Duty of disclosure—documents.................................................................................. 91

6.04....... Use of documents........................................................................................................ 91

Division 6.1.2—Duty of disclosure in specific types of proceedings                            92

6.05....... Duty of disclosure—parenting proceedings................................................................ 92

6.06....... Duty of disclosure—financial proceedings.................................................................. 92

Part 6.2—Disclosure procedures                                                                                                           95

Division 6.2.1—Introduction                                                                                                             95

6.07....... Application of Part 6.2................................................................................................ 95

Division 6.2.2—Processes of disclosure, production and inspection                            95

6.08....... Application of Division 6.2.2...................................................................................... 95

6.09....... Disclosure by list of documents.................................................................................. 95

6.10....... Request for disclosed document.................................................................................. 95

6.11....... Request for other identified document......................................................................... 96

6.12....... Request to inspect original document.......................................................................... 96

6.13....... Provision of copies of documents............................................................................... 96

6.14....... Production of documents for inspection...................................................................... 96

6.15....... Documents that need not be produced......................................................................... 97

Division 6.2.3—Objecting to production                                                                                    98

6.16....... Objection to production............................................................................................... 98

Division 6.2.4—Orders in relation to disclosure                                                                    99

6.17....... Consequences of non‑disclosure................................................................................. 99

6.18....... Application for order for disclosure, production or inspection.................................... 99

6.19....... Costs of compliance.................................................................................................. 100

6.20....... Electronic disclosure.................................................................................................. 100

Part 6.3—Specific questions                                                                                                                   101

6.21....... Application of Part 6.3.............................................................................................. 101

6.22....... Service of specific questions..................................................................................... 101

6.23....... Answering specific questions.................................................................................... 101

6.24....... Orders in relation to specific questions...................................................................... 101

Part 6.4—Disclosure from employer                                                                                                103

6.25....... Disclosure of employment information in proceedings for financial orders.............. 103

Part 6.5—Subpoenas and notices to produce                                                                              104

Division 6.5.1—Subpoenas: general                                                                                            104

6.26....... Issue of subpoena...................................................................................................... 104

6.27....... Limits on requests for subpoenas.............................................................................. 104

6.28....... Documents and things in possession of another court............................................... 104

6.29....... Time limits................................................................................................................. 105

6.30....... Service....................................................................................................................... 105

6.31....... Conduct money and witness fees.............................................................................. 106

6.32....... Undertaking not to require compliance with subpoena.............................................. 106

6.33....... Setting aside subpoena.............................................................................................. 106

6.34....... Order for cost of complying with subpoena.............................................................. 106

6.35....... Cost of complying with subpoena if not a party........................................................ 106

Division 6.5.2—Subpoenas: production of documents and access by parties       108

6.36....... Use of documents produced in compliance with subpoena for production................ 108

6.37....... Right to inspection of document................................................................................ 108

6.38....... Objection to production or inspection or copying of document................................. 109

6.39....... Subpoena for production of documents or things...................................................... 109

6.40....... Return of documents produced.................................................................................. 110

Division 6.5.3—Non‑compliance with subpoena                                                                   111

6.41....... Failure to comply with subpoena............................................................................... 111

Division 6.5.4—Notices to produce                                                                                             112

6.42....... Notice to produce...................................................................................................... 112

Chapter 7—Experts and assessors                                                                                     113

Part 7.1—Experts                                                                                                                                         114

Division 7.1.1—Introduction                                                                                                           114

7.01....... Application of Part 7.1.............................................................................................. 114

7.02....... Purpose of Part 7.1.................................................................................................... 114

Division 7.1.2—Single expert witness                                                                                         116

7.03....... Appointment of single expert witness by parties jointly............................................ 116

7.04....... Order for single expert witness................................................................................. 116

7.05....... Orders the court may make........................................................................................ 116

7.06....... Single expert witness’s fees and expenses................................................................ 117

7.07....... Single expert witness’s report................................................................................... 117

7.08....... Appointing another expert witness............................................................................ 118

7.09....... Cross‑examination of single expert witness.............................................................. 118

Division 7.1.3—Permission for expert’s evidence                                                               119

7.10....... Permission for expert’s reports and evidence............................................................ 119

7.11....... Application for permission for expert witness........................................................... 119

Division 7.1.4—Instructions and disclosure of expert’s report                                    121

7.12....... Application of Division 7.1.4.................................................................................... 121

7.13....... Instructions to expert witness.................................................................................... 121

7.14....... Mandatory disclosure of expert’s report.................................................................... 121

7.15....... Provision of information about fees.......................................................................... 122

7.16....... Application for provision of information................................................................... 122

7.17....... Failure to disclose report........................................................................................... 122

Division 7.1.5—Expert witness’s duties and rights                                                             123

7.18....... Expert witness’s duty to the court............................................................................. 123

7.19....... Expert witness’s right to seek orders......................................................................... 123

7.20....... Expert witness’s evidence in chief............................................................................. 124

7.21....... Form of expert’s report............................................................................................. 124

7.22....... Contents of expert’s report........................................................................................ 125

7.23....... Consequences of non‑compliance............................................................................. 125

Division 7.1.6—Clarification of single expert witness reports                                     127

7.24....... Purpose of Division 7.1.6......................................................................................... 127

7.25....... Conference................................................................................................................ 127

7.26....... Questions to single expert witness............................................................................ 127

7.27....... Single expert witness’s answers................................................................................ 128

7.28....... Single expert witness’s costs..................................................................................... 128

7.29....... Application for directions.......................................................................................... 129

Division 7.1.7—Evidence from 2 or more expert witnesses                                           130

7.30....... Application of Division 7.1.7.................................................................................... 130

7.31....... Conference of expert witnesses................................................................................. 130

7.32....... Conduct of trial with expert witnesses....................................................................... 131

Part 7.2—Assessors                                                                                                                                     132

7.33....... Application of Part 7.2.............................................................................................. 132

7.34....... Appointing an assessor............................................................................................. 132

7.35....... Assessor’s report...................................................................................................... 132

7.36....... Remuneration of assessor.......................................................................................... 132

Chapter 8—Admissions and evidence                                                                            134

Part 8.1—Admissions                                                                                                                                 135

8.01....... Request to admit........................................................................................................ 135

8.02....... Notice disputing fact or document............................................................................. 135

8.03....... Withdrawing admission............................................................................................. 136

Part 8.2—Evidence                                                                                                                                      137

Division 8.2.1—General rules about evidence                                                                       137

8.04....... How evidence may be given...................................................................................... 137

8.05....... Court may call evidence............................................................................................. 137

8.06....... Order for examination of witness.............................................................................. 137

8.07....... Letters of request....................................................................................................... 137

8.08....... Transcript receivable in evidence............................................................................... 138

Division 8.2.2—Evidence in proceedings involving children                                         139

8.09....... Parenting questionnaire............................................................................................. 139

8.10....... Restriction on child’s evidence.................................................................................. 139

8.11....... Reports from family consultant................................................................................. 139

8.12....... Report after family counselling or family dispute resolution..................................... 140

Part 8.3—Affidavits                                                                                                                                    141

8.13....... No general right to file affidavits............................................................................... 141

8.14....... Reliance on affidavits................................................................................................ 141

8.15....... Requirements for affidavits....................................................................................... 141

8.16....... Making an affidavit................................................................................................... 142

8.17....... Affidavit of illiterate or vision impaired person etc.................................................... 142

8.18....... Objectionable material may be struck out.................................................................. 143

8.19....... Use of affidavit without cross‑examination of maker................................................ 143

8.20....... Notice to attend for cross‑examination...................................................................... 143

8.21....... Deponent’s attendance and expenses......................................................................... 144

Chapter 9—Transferring proceedings                                                                           145

Part 9.1—Change of venue                                                                                                                    146

9.01....... Change of venue........................................................................................................ 146

Part 9.2—Transfer from Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) to Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2)                                                                                                                      147

9.02....... Transfer to Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2)........................................ 147

9.03....... Proceeding transferred to Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2)—transfer of documents          147

Part 9.3—Other transfers between courts exercising family law jurisdiction         149

9.04....... Application of Part 9.3.............................................................................................. 149

9.05....... Transfer of proceeding between courts exercising family law jurisdiction................ 149

9.06....... Proceeding transferred between courts exercising family law jurisdiction—transfer of file     150

Part 9.4—Removal of proceedings from court of summary jurisdiction                   151

9.07....... Removal of proceedings from court of summary jurisdiction.................................... 151

9.08....... Proceeding removed from court of summary jurisdiction—transfer of file............... 151

Part 9.5—Transfers to or from a State court: cross‑vesting                                              152

9.09....... Application of Part 9.5.............................................................................................. 152

9.10....... Cross‑vesting matters................................................................................................ 152

9.11....... Transfer of proceeding.............................................................................................. 152

Chapter 10—Finalising a proceeding                                                                             153

Part 10.1—Discontinuing a proceeding                                                                                          154

10.01..... Application of Part 10.1............................................................................................ 154

10.02..... Discontinuance.......................................................................................................... 154

10.03..... Costs......................................................................................................................... 154

Part 10.2—Consent orders                                                                                                                     155

10.04..... Application for order by consent............................................................................... 155

10.05..... Consent parenting orders and allegations of child abuse, family violence or other risks of harm to children           156

10.06..... Notice to superannuation trustee................................................................................ 156

10.07..... Dealing with an application for a consent order......................................................... 157

10.08..... Lapsing of respondent’s consent............................................................................... 157

Part 10.3—Summary orders and separate decisions                                                              158

10.09..... Application for summary orders................................................................................ 158

10.10..... Application for separate decision............................................................................... 158

10.11..... Orders that may be made under this Part................................................................... 158

Part 10.4—Judgment                                                                                                                                 159

10.12..... Court may make any judgment or order.................................................................... 159

10.13..... Varying or setting aside orders.................................................................................. 159

10.14..... Varying or setting aside reasons for judgment.......................................................... 159

10.15..... Order for payment of money..................................................................................... 159

10.16..... Fines.......................................................................................................................... 159

10.17..... Rate of interest........................................................................................................... 160

10.18..... Undertakings............................................................................................................. 160

10.19..... When an order is made.............................................................................................. 160

10.20..... When must an order be entered................................................................................. 161

10.21..... Entry of orders.......................................................................................................... 161

Part 10.5—Summary disposal                                                                                                              163

10.22..... Dismissal for want of prosecution............................................................................. 163

10.23..... Certificate of vexatious proceedings order................................................................. 163

10.24..... Application for leave to institute proceedings............................................................ 164

Part 10.6—Default                                                                                                                                       165

10.25..... Application of Part 10.6............................................................................................ 165

10.26..... When a party is in default.......................................................................................... 165

10.27..... Orders on default....................................................................................................... 165

Chapter 11—Enforcement of court orders and judgments                     167

Part 11.1—Enforcement of financial orders and obligations                                            168

Division 11.1.1—General                                                                                                                  168

11.01..... Enforceable obligations............................................................................................. 168

11.02..... When an agreement may be enforced........................................................................ 169

11.03..... When a child support liability may be enforced......................................................... 169

11.04..... Who may enforce an obligation................................................................................. 169

11.05..... Enforcing an obligation to pay money....................................................................... 170

11.06..... Affidavit to be filed for enforcement order................................................................ 170

11.07..... General enforcement powers of court........................................................................ 171

11.08..... Enforcement order..................................................................................................... 171

11.09..... Discharging, suspending or varying enforcement order............................................ 171

Division 11.1.2—Information for aiding enforcement                                                      172

11.10..... Processes for obtaining financial information............................................................ 172

11.11..... Enforcement hearing.................................................................................................. 172

11.12..... Obligations of payer.................................................................................................. 172

11.13..... Subpoena of witness................................................................................................. 173

11.14..... Failure concerning Financial Statement or enforcement hearing................................ 173

Division 11.1.3—Enforcement warrants                                                                                  174

11.15..... Request for Enforcement Warrant............................................................................. 174

11.16..... Payee’s responsibilities if Enforcement Warrant is issued......................................... 174

11.17..... Period during which Enforcement Warrant is in force............................................... 174

11.18..... Enforcement officer’s responsibilities....................................................................... 174

11.19..... Directions for enforcement........................................................................................ 175

11.20..... Effect of Enforcement Warrant.................................................................................. 176

11.21..... Notice of sale............................................................................................................. 176

11.22..... Sale of property at reasonable price........................................................................... 177

11.23..... Conditions of sale of property................................................................................... 177

11.24..... Result of sale of property under Enforcement Warrant.............................................. 177

11.25..... Payee’s responsibilities............................................................................................. 178

11.26..... Orders for real property............................................................................................. 178

11.27..... Notice of claim by person affected by an Enforcement Warrant................................ 179

11.28..... Payee to admit or dispute claim................................................................................. 179

11.29..... Admitting claim......................................................................................................... 179

11.30..... Denial or no response to claim.................................................................................. 179

11.31..... Hearing of application............................................................................................... 180

Division 11.1.4—Third Party Debt Notice                                                                              181

11.32..... Application of Division 11.1.4.................................................................................. 181

11.33..... Money deposited in a financial institution................................................................. 181

11.34..... Request for Third Party Debt Notice......................................................................... 181

11.35..... Service of Third Party Debt Notice........................................................................... 182

11.36..... Effect of Third Party Debt Notice—general.............................................................. 182

11.37..... Employer’s obligations.............................................................................................. 182

11.38..... Duration of Third Party Debt Notice......................................................................... 182

11.39..... Response to Third Party Debt Notice........................................................................ 182

11.40..... Discharge of Third Party Debt Notice....................................................................... 183

11.41..... Claim by affected person........................................................................................... 183

11.42..... Cessation of employment.......................................................................................... 183

11.43..... Compliance with Third Party Debt Notice................................................................. 184

Division 11.1.5—Sequestration of property                                                                           185

11.44..... Application for sequestration of property.................................................................. 185

11.45..... Order for sequestration.............................................................................................. 185

11.46..... Order relating to sequestration................................................................................... 186

11.47..... Procedural orders for sequestration........................................................................... 186

Division 11.1.6—Receivership                                                                                                       187

11.48..... Application for appointment of receiver.................................................................... 187

11.49..... Appointment and powers of receiver......................................................................... 187

11.50..... Security..................................................................................................................... 187

11.51..... Accounts................................................................................................................... 188

11.52..... Objection to accounts................................................................................................ 188

11.53..... Removal of receiver................................................................................................... 188

11.54..... Compliance with orders and Rules............................................................................ 188

Division 11.1.7—Enforcement of obligations other than an obligation to pay money  189

11.55..... Application for other enforcement orders.................................................................. 189

11.56..... Warrant for possession of real property.................................................................... 189

11.57..... Warrant for delivery.................................................................................................. 189

11.58..... Warrant for seizure and detention of property........................................................... 189

Division 11.1.8—Other provisions about enforcement                                                     190

11.59..... Service of order......................................................................................................... 190

11.60..... Certificate for payments under maintenance order..................................................... 190

11.61..... Enforcement by or against a non‑party...................................................................... 190

11.62..... Powers of enforcement officer.................................................................................. 190

Part 11.2—Enforcement of parenting orders, contravention of orders and contempt   191

Division 11.2.1—Applications for enforcement of orders and on contravention of orders        191

11.63..... Application of Division 11.2.1.................................................................................. 191

11.64..... How to apply for an order......................................................................................... 191

11.65..... Application made or continued by Marshal............................................................... 192

11.66..... Fixing of hearing date................................................................................................ 192

11.67..... Response to an application........................................................................................ 193

11.68..... Failure of respondent to attend.................................................................................. 193

11.69..... Procedure at hearing.................................................................................................. 193

Division 11.2.2—Contempt                                                                                                              194

11.70..... Contempt in the face or hearing of court.................................................................... 194

11.71..... Contempt applications............................................................................................... 194

Division 11.2.3—Parenting orders: compliance                                                                   196

11.72..... Duties of program provider....................................................................................... 196

11.73..... Relisting for hearing.................................................................................................. 196

Division 11.2.4—Location and recovery orders                                                                  197

11.74..... Application of Division 11.2.4.................................................................................. 197

11.75..... Application for order under Division 11.2.4............................................................. 197

11.76..... Fixing of hearing date................................................................................................ 197

11.77..... Service of recovery order.......................................................................................... 197

11.78..... Application for directions for execution of recovery order........................................ 197

Division 11.2.5—Warrants for arrest                                                                                       199

11.79..... Application for warrant............................................................................................. 199

11.80..... Execution of warrant................................................................................................. 199

11.81..... Duration of warrant................................................................................................... 199

11.82..... Procedure after arrest................................................................................................. 199

11.83..... Application for release or setting aside warrant......................................................... 200

Chapter 12—Costs                                                                                                                              201

Part 12.1—Introduction                                                                                                                           202

12.01..... Application of Chapter 12......................................................................................... 202

Part 12.2—Security for costs                                                                                                                 203

12.02..... Application for security for costs.............................................................................. 203

12.03..... Order for security for costs....................................................................................... 203

12.04..... Finalising security..................................................................................................... 203

Part 12.3—Costs disclosure obligations                                                                                          204

12.05..... Duty to inform about costs........................................................................................ 204

12.06..... Costs notices............................................................................................................. 204

12.07..... Costs notices and case management.......................................................................... 205

Part 12.4—Management of legal costs                                                                                             206

Division 12.4.1—Costs principles                                                                                                 206

12.08..... Legal costs to be fair, reasonable and proportionate.................................................. 206

Division 12.4.2—Maximum costs orders                                                                                  208

12.09..... Application of Division 12.4.2.................................................................................. 208

12.10..... Maximum costs orders—general............................................................................... 208

12.11..... Application for a maximum costs order..................................................................... 209

12.12..... Application to vary a maximum costs order.............................................................. 209

Part 12.5—Orders for costs                                                                                                                    210

12.13..... Order for costs.......................................................................................................... 210

12.14..... Costs order for proceedings in other courts............................................................... 210

12.15..... Costs order against lawyer........................................................................................ 210

12.16..... Notice of costs order................................................................................................. 211

Part 12.6—Calculation of costs                                                                                                            212

12.17..... Method of calculation of costs................................................................................... 212

12.18..... Maximum amount of party and party costs recoverable............................................ 212

12.19..... Interest on outstanding costs..................................................................................... 212

Part 12.7—Specific costs matters                                                                                                        213

12.20..... Costs in court of summary jurisdiction...................................................................... 213

12.21..... Charge for each page................................................................................................. 213

12.22..... Proportion of costs.................................................................................................... 213

12.23..... Costs for reading....................................................................................................... 213

12.24..... Postage within Australia............................................................................................ 213

12.25..... Waiting and travelling time........................................................................................ 213

12.26..... Agent’s fees.............................................................................................................. 214

12.27..... Costs of proceedings not started together.................................................................. 214

12.28..... Certificate as to counsel............................................................................................. 214

12.29..... Lawyer as counsel—party and party costs................................................................ 214

12.30..... Lawyer as counsel—assessment of fees.................................................................... 215

12.31..... Expenses for attendance by witness.......................................................................... 215

12.32..... Expenses for preparation of report by expert............................................................. 215

Part 12.8—Claiming and disputing costs                                                                                       216

Division 12.8.1—Itemised costs account                                                                                   217

12.33..... Request for itemised costs account............................................................................ 217

12.34..... Service of lawyer’s itemised costs account................................................................ 217

12.35..... Lawyer’s itemised costs account............................................................................... 217

12.36..... Disputing itemised costs account............................................................................... 218

12.37..... Assessment of disputed costs.................................................................................... 218

12.38..... Amendment of itemised costs account or Notice Disputing Itemised Costs Account 218

Division 12.8.2—Assessment process                                                                                         219

12.39..... Fixing first court date................................................................................................ 219

12.40..... Notification of hearing............................................................................................... 219

12.41..... Settlement conference................................................................................................ 219

12.42..... Preliminary assessment............................................................................................. 219

12.43..... Objection to preliminary assessment amount............................................................. 219

12.44..... No objection to preliminary assessment.................................................................... 220

12.45..... Assessment hearing................................................................................................... 220

12.46..... Powers of Judicial Registrars.................................................................................... 221

12.47..... Assessment principles............................................................................................... 221

12.48..... Allowance for matters not specified.......................................................................... 222

12.49..... Neglect or delay before Judicial Registrar................................................................. 222

12.50..... Costs assessment order—costs account not disputed................................................ 222

12.51..... Setting aside a costs assessment order....................................................................... 223

Part 12.9—Review of assessment                                                                                                        224

12.52..... Application for review............................................................................................... 224

12.53..... Time for filing an application for review................................................................... 224

12.54..... Hearing of application............................................................................................... 224

Chapter 13—Appeals                                                                                                                       225

Part 13.1—Introduction                                                                                                                           226

13.01..... Application of Chapter 13......................................................................................... 226

Part 13.2—Starting an appeal                                                                                                              227

13.02..... Starting an appeal...................................................................................................... 227

13.03..... Time for appeal.......................................................................................................... 227

13.04..... Parties to an appeal.................................................................................................... 228

13.05..... Service....................................................................................................................... 228

13.06..... Notice about appeal to other courts............................................................................ 228

13.07..... Cross‑appeal.............................................................................................................. 228

13.08..... Notice of Contention................................................................................................. 228

13.09..... Submitting notice....................................................................................................... 229

13.10..... Amendment of Notice of Appeal............................................................................... 229

13.12..... Stay........................................................................................................................... 229

13.13..... Procedural orders in relation to an application for leave to appeal............................. 229

13.14..... Filing draft index to appeal book............................................................................... 230

Part 13.3—Appeals to Full Court                                                                                                       231

13.15..... Application of Part 13.3............................................................................................ 231

13.16..... Procedural hearing..................................................................................................... 231

13.17..... Attendance at first procedural hearing....................................................................... 231

13.18..... Orders to be made at procedural hearing................................................................... 232

13.19..... Preparation of appeal book and obtaining transcript.................................................. 232

13.20..... Contents of appeal book............................................................................................ 232

13.21..... Form of appeal book................................................................................................. 233

13.22..... Failure to file appeal book or transcript by due date.................................................. 234

13.23..... Summary of argument and list of authorities............................................................. 234

Part 13.4—Appeals from Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) or Family Law Magistrate of Western Australia heard by single Judge                                                                  236

13.24..... Application of Part 13.4............................................................................................ 236

13.25..... Procedural hearing..................................................................................................... 236

13.26..... Attendance at procedural hearing............................................................................... 236

13.27..... Procedural orders for conduct of appeal.................................................................... 236

13.28..... Documents for appeal hearing if appeal book not required........................................ 237

Part 13.5—Appeal from court of summary jurisdiction other than a Family Law Magistrate of Western Australia                                                                                                                                         238

13.29..... Application of Part 13.5............................................................................................ 238

13.30..... Fixing of hearing date................................................................................................ 238

Part 13.6—Powers of appeal courts and conduct of appeal                                              239

13.31..... Non‑attendance by party............................................................................................ 239

13.32..... Attendance by electronic communication................................................................... 239

13.33..... Attendance by party in prison.................................................................................... 240

13.34..... Subpoenas................................................................................................................. 240

Part 13.7—Applications in relation to appeals                                                                           241

Division 13.7.1—How to make an application                                                                      241

13.35..... Application of Part 13.7............................................................................................ 241

13.36..... Application in relation to appeal................................................................................ 241

13.37..... Hearing date for application....................................................................................... 241

13.38..... Decision in the absence of parties without oral hearing............................................. 241

Division 13.7.2—Specific applications relating to appeals                                              242

13.39..... Further evidence on appeal........................................................................................ 242

13.40..... Review of Appeal Judicial Registrar’s order............................................................. 242

Part 13.8—Concluding an appeal, an application for leave to appeal or any other application in relation to an appeal                                                                                                                                   243

13.41..... Consent orders on appeal.......................................................................................... 243

13.42..... Discontinuance of appeal or application.................................................................... 243

13.43..... Abandoning an appeal............................................................................................... 243

13.44..... Application for reinstatement of appeal..................................................................... 243

13.45..... Dismissal of appeal and applications for non‑compliance or delay............................ 243

Part 13.9—Case stated                                                                                                                              245

13.46..... Application of Part 13.9............................................................................................ 245

13.47..... Case stated................................................................................................................. 245

13.48..... Objection to draft case stated..................................................................................... 245

13.49..... Settlement and signing............................................................................................... 245

13.50..... Filing of case stated................................................................................................... 246

13.51..... Fixing of hearing date................................................................................................ 246

13.52..... Summary of argument and list of authorities............................................................. 246

Part 13.10—Costs orders                                                                                                                         247

13.53..... Filing of costs schedule in certain appeals................................................................. 247

13.54..... Order for costs.......................................................................................................... 247

Chapter 14—Registrars and delegated powers                                                    248

Part 14.1—Introduction                                                                                                                           248

14.01..... Definitions for Chapter 14......................................................................................... 248

Part 14.2—Delegation of powers to Senior Judicial Registrars and Judicial Registrars               249

14.02..... Application of Part 14.2............................................................................................ 249

14.03..... Delegation of powers to Senior Judicial Registrars and Judicial Registrars.............. 249

Part 14.3—Review of exercise of power by Senior Judicial Registrar or Judicial Registrar      250

14.04..... Application of Part 14.3............................................................................................ 250

14.05..... Application for review of order or decision............................................................... 250

14.06..... Stay........................................................................................................................... 250

14.07..... Procedure for review................................................................................................. 251

Chapter 15—General                                                                                                                       252

Part 15.1—Seal                                                                                                                                               253

15.01..... Use of seal of court................................................................................................... 253

15.02..... Stamp of court........................................................................................................... 253

15.03..... Methods of attaching the seal or stamp...................................................................... 253

Part 15.2—Time                                                                                                                                            254

15.04..... Meaning of month..................................................................................................... 254

15.05..... Calculating time......................................................................................................... 254

15.06..... Shortening or extension of time................................................................................. 254

15.07..... Time for compliance with orders............................................................................... 254

Part 15.3—Registration of documents                                                                                             255

15.08..... Registration of agreements........................................................................................ 255

15.09..... Registration of State child orders under section 70C or 70D of the Family Law Act 255

15.10..... Registration of de facto maintenance orders under section 90SI of the Family Law Act 255

15.11..... Registration of debt due to the Commonwealth under child support legislation........ 255

Part 15.4—Custody of documents                                                                                                     256

15.12..... Removal of document from registry.......................................................................... 256

15.13..... Searching court record and copying documents........................................................ 256

15.14..... Exhibits..................................................................................................................... 257

Part 15.5—Attendance                                                                                                                              258

15.15..... Party’s attendance...................................................................................................... 258

15.16..... Attendance by electronic communication................................................................... 258

15.17..... Foreign evidence by electronic communication......................................................... 260

15.18..... Attendance by party or witness in prison.................................................................. 260

15.19..... Failure to attend a court event.................................................................................... 261

Part 15.6—Additional matters                                                                                                              262

15.20..... Notes, examples etc................................................................................................... 262

15.21..... Forms........................................................................................................................ 262

15.22..... Sittings...................................................................................................................... 262

15.23..... Prohibition on recording............................................................................................ 262

15.24..... Publishing lists of proceedings.................................................................................. 263

15.25..... Venue for proceedings.............................................................................................. 263

Schedule 1—Pre‑action procedures                                                                                   264

Part 1—Financial proceedings                                                                                                             264

1............ General...................................................................................................................... 264

2............ Compliance................................................................................................................ 265

3............ Pre‑action procedures................................................................................................ 266

4............ Disclosure and exchange of correspondence............................................................. 267

5............ Expert witnesses........................................................................................................ 268

6............ Lawyers’ obligations................................................................................................. 268

Part 2—Parenting proceedings                                                                                                            270

1............ General...................................................................................................................... 270

2............ Compliance................................................................................................................ 271

3............ Pre‑action procedures................................................................................................ 272

4............ Disclosure and exchange of correspondence............................................................. 273

5............ Expert witnesses........................................................................................................ 273

6............ Lawyers’ obligations................................................................................................. 274

Schedule 2—Conduct money and witness fees                                                      275

Part 1—Conduct money                                                                                                                           275

Part 2—Witness fees                                                                                                                                   276

Schedule 3—Scale of costs in family law and child support matters 277

Part 1—Costs allowable for lawyer’s work done and services performed               277

Part 2—Costs allowable for counsel’s work done and services performed              278

Part 3—Basic composite amount for undefended divorce                                                  279

Part 4—Basic composite amount for request for Enforcement Warrant or Third Party Debt Notice                                                                                                                                                              280

Schedule 4—Delegated powers                                                                                               281

1............ Definitions................................................................................................................. 281

2............ Delegations to Senior Judicial Registrars and Judicial Registrars.............................. 281

 


Chapter 1Purpose and case management

Part 1.1Preliminary

  

1.01  Name

                   These Rules are the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021.

1.02  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of these Rules specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of these Rules

1 September 2021.

1 September 2021

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of these Rules as originally made. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of these Rules.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of these Rules. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of these Rules.

Note 1:       The Family Law Rules 2004 (the old Rules), as in force under the Family Law Act immediately before the commencement of these Rules (the new Rules), are repealed (see the Family Law Repeal Rules 2021). The new Rules apply to a proceeding that was commenced in accordance with the old Rules and was not determined before the repeal of those Rules.

Note 2:       The Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001, as in force under the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 immediately before the commencement of these Rules, are repealed as a consequence of the repeal of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 by Schedule 3 to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2021.

1.03  Authority

                   These Rules are made under Chapter 3 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021.

1.04  Overarching purpose

             (1)  The overarching purpose of these Rules, as provided by section 67 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act, is to facilitate the just resolution of disputes according to law and as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible.

Note 1:       These Rules must be interpreted and applied, and any power conferred or duty imposed by them must be exercised or carried out, in the way that best promotes the overarching purpose (see subsection 67(3) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act).

Note 2:       See sections 190 and 191 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act in relation to the overarching purpose of the Rules of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2). See also the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Family Law) Rules 2021 which applies these Rules with modifications.

             (2)  Parties to family law proceedings must conduct the proceeding (including negotiations for settlement of the dispute to which the proceeding relates) in a way that is consistent with the overarching purpose.

Note:          See subsection 68(1) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

             (3)  A party’s lawyer must, in the conduct of a proceeding before the court (including negotiations for settlement) on the party’s behalf:

                     (a)  take account of the duty imposed on the party referred to in subrule (2); and

                     (b)  assist the party to comply with the duty.

Note:          See subsection 68(2) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

1.05  Definitions

             (1)  In these Rules:

abuse, in relation to a child, has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

address for service means the address given by a party where documents may be left for the party or where documents may be sent for the party (see rule 2.25).

adjourn means to defer or postpone a court event to another day or time.

affected person, in Divisions 11.1.3 and 11.1.4, means a person claiming to be affected by the seizure of property under an Enforcement Warrant.

affidavit means a formal written statement by a party or witness (see Part 8.3).

appeal includes:

                     (a)  an appeal to the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) under subsection 26(1) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act; and

                     (b)  for an appeal to the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) in respect of which leave to appeal is required under section 28 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act—an appeal with such leave; and

                     (c)  a cross‑appeal.

(see Chapter 13).

Appeal Judicial Registrar means the Judicial Registrar at the National Appeal Registry for an appeal.

appellant includes a cross‑appellant.

applicant includes a cross‑applicant.

Application for Review means the form for seeking a review of the decision of a Judicial Registrar.

Application in a Proceeding means the form for making an interlocutory application.

application without notice means an application that is heard by the court without first being served on the respondent (see Part 5.2).

approved form means a form approved under rule 15.21 for the purposes of these Rules.

arbitration has the meaning given by section 10L of the Family Law Act.

Assessment Act means the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989.

assessment hearing means a hearing conducted by a Judicial Registrar at which the amount to be paid on an itemised costs account is assessed (see rule 12.45).

assessor means a person specially qualified in the subject matter in which the assessor is appointed under Part 7.2 of these Rules.

Note:          See section 102B of the Family Law Act in relation to the use of an assessor.

attend, in relation to a court event, includes attendance by electronic communication (see rules 13.32 and 15.16).

bankrupt has the meaning given by subsection 5(1) of the Bankruptcy Act. A reference in these Rules to a person, being a party to a marriage or a party to a de facto relationship, who is bankrupt includes a reference to a person:

                     (a)  who has been discharged from bankruptcy; and

                     (b)  whose property remains vested in the bankruptcy trustee under the Bankruptcy Act.

Bankruptcy Act means the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

cancellation fee means a cancellation fee or reservation fee charged by a barrister or solicitor advocate for a court event or dispute resolution event that does not proceed.

case assessment conference means a conference conducted by a Judicial Registrar.

case stated means a procedure in which a case or question is determined by the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) under section 34 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act (see Part 13.9 of these Rules).

cause of action means a claim seeking an order (other than for interlocutory relief) for which a court has jurisdiction.

Chief Executive Officer has the meaning given by subsection 7(1) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

Child Support Agency means the Department (or part of the Department) that administers the Assessment Act and the Registration Act.

Child Support Application or Appeal means an application or appeal in which the only orders sought are under the Assessment Act or the Registration Act.

child support liability means an amount owing under the Assessment Act or the Registration Act (including under a child support assessment or registered child support agreement) that may be registered for collection by the Child Support Agency.

child support proceeding:

                     (a)  means a proceeding under the Assessment Act or the Registration Act; and

                     (b)  includes an appeal under section 44AAA of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (which provides for appeals from certain child support first review proceedings).

Child Support Registrar means the Child Support Registrar under section 10 of the Registration Act.

child welfare record means a record relating to child welfare held by a State or Territory agency referred to in Schedule 9 to the Family Law Regulations.

Commonwealth information order has the meaning given by subsection 67J(2) of the Family Law Act.

conciliation means a dispute resolution process in which an impartial third person assists the parties to the dispute to reach an agreement in the dispute.

conduct money means money paid by a party to a witness, before the witness appears at a court event, for:

                     (a)  travel between the witness’s place of residence or employment and the court; and

                     (b)  if necessary, reasonable accommodation expenses for the witness; and

                     (c)  in the case of a subpoena for production—the reasonable costs of complying with the subpoena.

contravened:

                     (a)  in relation to an order under the Family Law Act affecting children—has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act; and

                     (b)  otherwise—means failed to comply with (or follow) an order.

corporation includes:

                     (a)  a company; and

                     (b)  a body corporate; and

                     (c)  an unincorporated body that may sue or be sued or hold property in the name of its secretary or of an officer of the body appointed for that purpose.

Corporations Rules means the Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000.

costs means an amount paid or to be paid for work done by a lawyer, and includes expenses.

costs agreement means a written agreement between a party and the party’s lawyer, about the costs to be charged by the lawyer for work done for a proceeding for the party, in accordance with the law of a State or Territory.

costs assessment order means an order made by a Judicial Registrar under rule 12.44, 12.45 or 12.50 fixing the total amount payable for costs.

costs brochure means a brochure, approved by the Chief Executive Officer, about costs under Chapter 12 (see subrule 12.34(2)).

costs notice means a notice of a party’s actual and estimated future costs, and of any expenses paid or payable to an expert witness (see rule 12.06).

counsel means a barrister, or a solicitor acting as an advocate.

court, in relation to family law or child support proceedings, means a court that:

                     (a)  is exercising jurisdiction in those proceedings by virtue of the Family Law Act or the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act; and

                     (b)  is presided over by a judicial officer who has, or has been delegated, the power to exercise the jurisdiction.

court event includes the following events:

                     (a)  a hearing or part of a hearing;

                     (b)  a trial or part of a trial;

                     (c)  a conference;

                     (d)  an attendance with a family consultant performing the functions of a family consultant;

                     (e)  an attendance with a court child expert performing the functions of a family consultant or a family counsellor.

court of summary jurisdiction means a magistrates’ or local court of a State or Territory.

criminal record, for a person, means a record of offences of which the person has been found guilty.

cross‑appellant means a respondent to an appeal who appeals against one or more orders under appeal.

cross‑vesting law means a law relating to the cross‑vesting jurisdiction of:

                     (a)  the Commonwealth (other than under the Corporations Act 2001); or

                     (b)  a State or Territory.

de facto relationship has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Family Law Act.

deponent means a person whose evidence is set out in an affidavit and who swears or affirms that the contents of the affidavit are true.

discontinue, in relation to a proceeding, means to withdraw all or part of an application or response.

dispute resolution, includes a mediation and a conference (including a conciliation conference).

each person to be served means each person referred to in paragraphs 2.27(3)(a), (b) and (c).

earnings includes the following:

                     (a)  wages, salary, fees, bonus, commission or overtime pay;

                     (b)  other money payable in addition to or instead of wages or salary;

                     (c)  a pension, annuity or vested superannuation money;

                     (d)  money payable instead of leave;

                     (e)  royalties;

                      (f)  retirement benefits due or accruing;

                     (g)  a salary sacrifice arrangement;

                     (h)  performance‑based incentives and non‑monetary benefits.

electronic communication means:

                     (a)  video link; or

                     (b)  audio link; or

                     (c)  another appropriate electronic means of communication.

Examples: Telephone or video conferencing; closed circuit television; e‑mail.

eligible superannuation plan has the meaning given by section 90XD of the Family Law Act.

enforcement officer includes:

                     (a)  an officer of the court who has power to enforce an order; and

                     (b)  a person appointed by the court for the purpose of enforcing an order.

Note:          In the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1), this includes the Marshal, Deputy Marshal or a delegate of the Marshal or Deputy Marshal. In the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2), this includes the Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff or a delegate of the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff.

expert means an independent person who has relevant specialised knowledge, based on the person’s training, study or experience.

expert’s report means a report by an expert witness, including a notice under subrule 7.18(5).

expert witness means an expert who has been instructed to give or prepare independent evidence for the purpose of a proceeding.

family consultant has the meaning given by section 11B of the Family Law Act.

family counselling has the meaning given by section 10B of the Family Law Act.

family counsellor has the meaning given by section 10C of the Family Law Act.

Family Court, in a reference to a Family Court, means the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) or a Family Court of a State.

family dispute resolution has the meaning given by section 10F of the Family Law Act.

family dispute resolution practitioner has the meaning given by section 10G of the Family Law Act.

Family Law Act means the Family Law Act 1975.

Family Law Magistrate of Western Australia means the Magistrates Court of Western Australia constituted by a Family Law Magistrate of Western Australia.

family law proceeding means a proceeding under the Family Law Act.

Family Law Regulations means the Family Law Regulations 1984 made under the Family Law Act.

family violence has the meaning given by subsection 4AB(1) of the Family Law Act.

family violence order has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

Federal Circuit and Family Court means:

                     (a)  the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1); or

                     (b)  the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2).

Federal Circuit and Family Court Act means the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021.

Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) means the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1).

Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) means the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2).

file, in relation to a document, means file the document in accordance with Part 2.5.

filing registry, in relation to a proceeding, means the registry of a court in which the proceeding is started or to which the proceeding is transferred.

final order means an order of a court that finally decides a proceeding.

financial agreement means an agreement that is a financial agreement under section 90B, 90C or 90D of the Family Law Act (other than an ante‑nuptial (pre‑marriage) or post‑nuptial (after marriage) settlement to which section 85A of the Family Law Act applies).

financial orders includes orders in relation to any of the following:

                     (a)  maintenance;

                     (b)  a Child Support Application under section 116, 123 or 129 of the Assessment Act;

                     (c)  contribution to child bearing expenses;

                     (d)  property.

financial proceeding means a proceeding (other than an appeal) involving an application:

                     (a)  relating to the maintenance of one of the parties to a marriage, or of a de facto relationship after the breakdown of the relationship, including an application for permission to start a spousal maintenance proceeding; or

                     (b)  relating to the property of the parties to a marriage, or of a de facto relationship after the breakdown of the relationship, or of either of them, including the following:

                              (i)  an application for permission to start a property proceeding;

                             (ii)  an application to set aside an order altering property interests under section 79A or 90SN of the Family Law Act;

                            (iii)  an application under section 85A of the Family Law Act in relation to a financial agreement;

                            (iv)  an application under section 90K of the Family Law Act in relation to a financial agreement;

                             (v)  an application under section 90UM of the Family Law Act in relation to a Part VIIIAB financial agreement or a Part VIIIAB termination agreement;

                            (vi)  an application under section 106B of the Family Law Act in relation to a transaction to defeat a claim; or

                     (c)  relating to the vested bankruptcy property in relation to a bankrupt party to a marriage, or of a de facto relationship after the breakdown of the relationship; or

                     (d)  relating to the maintenance of children; or

                     (e)  under section 116, 123 or 129 of the Assessment Act; or

                      (f)  relating to child bearing expenses (see section 67B of the Family Law Act);

and includes, for the purposes of Part 6.1 of these Rules, a proceeding (other than an appeal) involving an application for the enforcement of a financial obligation.

first court date means the first hearing or other court event after an application or an appeal is filed (including a conference or procedural hearing).

fresh application means any of the following applications, including compliance with pre‑action procedures associated with them:

                     (a)  an application for final orders;

                     (b)  an application that includes an application for final orders;

                     (c)  an Application in a Proceeding filed in connection with an application referred to in another paragraph of this definition;

                     (d)  an Application for Divorce;

                     (e)  an application for consent orders;

                      (f)  a contempt, contravention or enforcement application;

                     (g)  an application relating to contempt in the face of the court;

                     (h)  an appeal, and a rehearing following an appeal;

                      (i)  an Application for Review of final orders made by a Judicial Registrar.

Full Court or Full Court of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) means a Full Court of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1) constituted in accordance with section 17 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

gross value, of property, means the value of the property excluding any mortgage, lien, charge or other security over the property.

hearing means the process, other than a trial, of determining:

                     (a)  an Application in a Proceeding; or

                     (b)  an Application for Divorce; or

                     (c)  an application for:

                              (i)  an order that a marriage is a nullity; or

                             (ii)  a declaration as to the validity of a marriage or of a divorce or annulment of a marriage; or

                     (d)  a part of a proceeding; or

                     (e)  an enforcement application.

independent children’s lawyer has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

interested person, for a subpoena, means a person who might reasonably have an interest in the subject matter of the subpoena.

interim order means an order made by a court that operates until another order or a final order is made (see Chapter 5).

interlocutory application means an application that is made in a proceeding that has already been started under these Rules and that is an application for an interlocutory order.

interlocutory order means:

                     (a)  an interim order; or

                     (b)  a procedural order; or

                     (c)  an ancillary order; or

                     (d)  any other incidental order relating to an application or order.

issuing party, for a subpoena, means the party at whose request the subpoena is issued.

itemised costs account means a document prepared in accordance with rule 12.35.

judicial officer includes a Judge and a Judicial Registrar.

Judicial Registrar (other than in Chapter 14) means:

                     (a)  in relation to the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1)—a Senior Registrar or Registrar of the Court; or

                     (b)  in relation to any other court—the principal legal officer of the court or any other appropriate officer of the court.

Note:          Judicial Registrar has a narrower meaning in Chapter 14 (see rule 14.01).

lawyer means a person who is enrolled as a legal practitioner of:

                     (a)  a federal court; or

                     (b)  the Supreme Court of a State or Territory.

Note:          See section 122 of the Family Law Act and sections 55A and 55B of the Judiciary Act 1903.

legal aid body means a person, authority or body that, from time to time, receives funding, whether directly or indirectly, from the Commonwealth for the purposes of, or in connection with, the provision of legal assistance by the person, authority or body in connection with matters arising under the Family Law Act.

legal entity means a corporation (other than a public company), trust, partnership, joint venture business or other commercial activity.

legislative provision includes a provision in an applicable Act, these Rules, the Family Law Regulations, any other regulations made under the Family Law Act and any conventions referred to in a regulation made under the Family Law Act.

litigation guardian means a person appointed by the court under rule 3.15 to manage and conduct a proceeding for a person who needs a litigation guardian (also known as a next friend, guardian ad litem or tutor) (see Part 3.5).

location order has the meaning given by subsection 67J(1) of the Family Law Act.

Marshal has the same meaning as in the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

Note:          See sections 104 and 262 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

medical procedure proceeding means a proceeding to which rule 1.11 applies.

medical record, for a person, means the histories, reports, diagnoses, prognoses, interpretations and other data or records, written or electronic, relating to the person’s medical condition or treatment, that are maintained by a physician, counsellor, hospital or other provider of services or facilities for medical treatment.

minor means a person under the age of 18 years.

month has the meaning given by rule 15.04.

National Appeal Registry, for an appeal other than from an order of a court of summary jurisdiction, means:

                     (a)  for an appeal from an order in a proceeding heard in Queensland, Lismore or the Northern Territory—the Brisbane Registry of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1); or

                     (b)  for an appeal from an order in a proceeding heard in the Australian Capital Territory or New South Wales (other than Lismore or Albury)—the Sydney Registry of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1); or

                     (c)  for an appeal from an order in a proceeding heard in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria or Albury—the Melbourne Registry of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1); or

                     (d)  for an appeal from an order made in Western Australia—the Registry of the Family Court of Western Australia.

non‑convention country means a country with which Australia does not have a convention as to service of documents (see rule 2.49).

Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk means the form referred to in rule 2.03.

notice of contention means a notice of contention referred to in rule 13.08.

oath includes affirmation.

Note 1:       See the definition of sworn in this rule and in sections 21 to 24 of the Evidence Act 1995.

Note 2:       Subject to sections 4 and 5 of the Evidence Act 1995, that Act does not apply to the Family Court of Western Australia or any other court of a State.

order includes:

                     (a)  a decree, decision, declaration and judgment; and

                     (b)  for an appeal or review of a decision—a refusal to grant an application or make an order.

ordinary service means service in accordance with Division 2.6.3.

parenting order has the meaning given by subsection 64B(1) of the Family Law Act.

parenting plan has the meaning given by subsection 63C(1) of the Family Law Act.

parenting proceeding means a proceeding in which the application seeks a parenting order or a child related injunction under Part VII of the Family Law Act (other than an application for child maintenance).

party includes the following:

                     (a)  an applicant in a proceeding;

                     (b)  an appellant in an appeal;

                     (c)  a respondent to an application or appeal;

                     (d)  an intervener in a proceeding.

party to a financial proceeding includes a payee and any other respondent to an enforcement application.

payee means a person who is entitled to take action against a payer to enforce an obligation to pay money, created by an assessment, order or agreement, with which the payer has not complied.

Note:          The Child Support Registrar is a payee in relation to a registered child support liability.

payer means a person who has an obligation to pay money to, or do an act to financially assist, a payee under an assessment, order or agreement.

penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914.

permission means the leave or consent of the court.

person includes a corporation, authority or party.

personal service means service in accordance with Division 2.6.2.

person subpoenaed means a person required by a subpoena to produce a document or give evidence.

police record, for a person, means records relating to the person kept by police, including statements, police notes and records of interview.

post‑separation parenting program has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

pre‑action procedures means the set of principles and procedures, the text of which is set out in Schedule 1, with which the parties must comply before starting a proceeding.

prescribed child welfare authority has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

prescribed property, for a person, means the following:

                     (a)  clothes, bed, bedding, kitchen furniture (not including an automatic dishwasher or microwave) and washing machine;

                     (b)  ordinary tools of trade, plant and equipment, professional instruments and reference books, the combined value of which is not more than $5,000.

primary order has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

property has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

Examples:  Real property; personal property; superannuation.

property proceeding means a proceeding in which orders (other than consent orders) are sought relating to:

                     (a)  the property of the parties to a marriage, or of a de facto relationship after the breakdown of the relationship, or of either of them; or

                     (b)  the vested bankruptcy property in relation to a bankrupt party to a marriage, or of a de facto relationship after the breakdown of the relationship.

protected earnings rate means the actual threshold income amount that would apply to a payer under Division 4B of Part VI of the Bankruptcy Act if the payer were a bankrupt.

recovery order has the meaning given by section 67Q of the Family Law Act.

Registration Act means the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988.

Registry Manager has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

seal means a stamp or other impression that the court puts on a document to indicate that the document has been issued by the court.

sealed copy means a document that bears a court seal.

security for costs means the security that a respondent may ask the court to order the applicant to pay for costs that may be awarded to the respondent.

serve means to give or deliver a document to a person in the manner required by these Rules (see Parts 2.6 and 2.7).

sign includes:

                     (a)  to write one’s own name; and

                     (b)  if a person is unable to write the person’s name—to make a mark; and

                     (c)  to sign electronically.

single expert witness means an expert witness who is appointed by agreement between the parties, or by the court, to give evidence or prepare a report on an issue (see Division 7.1.2).

special federal matter has the meaning given by subsection 3(1) of the Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross‑vesting) Act 1987.

specific questions has the same meaning as interrogatories.

State child order has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

step means a procedural act taken in the conduct or management of a proceeding.

step‑parent has the meaning given by subsection 4(1) of the Family Law Act.

submitting notice means a submitting notice referred to in rule 2.22.

subpoena means a summons issued by the court that requires a named person to do either or both of the following:

                     (a)  attend the court to give evidence;

                     (b)  bring one or more documents or things to the court.

superannuation information form means a form approved by the Chief Executive Officer for obtaining information from the trustee of a superannuation fund in family law proceedings.

sworn, for an affidavit or evidence, means an oath by a witness that the witness is telling the truth.

Note:          See also the definition of oath in this rule.

termination agreement has the meaning given by subsection 90J(1) of the Family Law Act.

Third Party Debt Notice means a notice given to a third party who holds money for, or owes money to, a payer that demands that any of that money be paid to a payee to satisfy an obligation that the payer owes the payee (see Division 11.1.4).

third party debtor means a person from whom a payee claims a debt that is owed to the payer.

transcript means a written record of a hearing or a trial prepared by a contractor providing transcription services to the court for the proceeding.

trial means the process of determining a proceeding started by an Initiating Application (Family Law).

undertaking as to damages means an undertaking referred to in subrule 10.18(5).

vexatious proceedings order:

                     (a)  has the meaning given by subsection 102Q(1) of the Family Law Act; and

                     (b)  includes an order made under subsection 239(2) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

written notice means a document (for example, a letter) that complies with rule 2.14.

             (2)  A definition of a word or expression in subrule(1) applies to each use of the word or expression in these Rules, unless the context does not permit.

Part 1.2Case management

Division 1.2.1General case management procedures

1.06  Court’s general powers of case management

                   The court may exercise any of the powers referred to in Table 1.1 to manage a proceeding to achieve the overarching purpose of these Rules (see rule 1.04).

 

Table 1.1—Court’s powers

Item

Subject

Power

1

Attendance

(a) order a party to attend:

(i) a procedural hearing; or

(ii) a conference or other court event; or

(iii) a family consultant; or

(iv) family counselling or family dispute resolution; or

(v) another dispute resolution process as permitted by the Family Law Act (see rule 4.05);

(b) require a party, a party’s lawyer or an independent children’s lawyer to attend court

2

Case development

(a) consolidate proceedings;

(b) order that part of a proceeding be dealt with separately;

(c) decide the sequence in which issues are to be tried;

(d) specify the facts that are in dispute, state the issues and make procedural orders about how and when the proceeding will be heard or tried;

(e) finalise the balance sheet setting out all assets, liabilities and financial resources that either party asserts are relevant to the determination of the proceeding;

(f) with the consent of the parties, order that a proceeding or part of a proceeding be submitted to arbitration;

(g) order a party to provide particulars, or further and better particulars, of the orders sought by that party and the basis on which the orders are sought;

(h) order a party to produce any relevant document in a financial proceeding to the court or to any other party for the purpose of developing and finalising the balance sheet

3

Conduct of proceeding

(a) hold a court event and receive submissions and evidence by electronic communication;

(b) postpone, bring forward or cancel a court event;

(c) adjourn a court event;

(d) stay a proceeding or part of a proceeding;

(e) make orders in the absence of a party;

(f) deal with an application without an oral hearing if the parties have consented to the application being decided without an oral hearing (see rule 5.13);

(g) deal with an application with written or oral evidence or, if the issue is a question of law, without evidence;

(h) allow an application to be made orally;

(i) determine an application without requiring notice to be given;

(j) order that a proceeding lose listing priority;

(k) make a self‑executing order;

(l) make an order granting permission for a party to perform an action if a provision of these Rules requires a party to obtain that permission;

(m) for a fee that is required by law to be paid—order that the fee must be paid by a specified date

Note:          The powers referred to in Table 1.1 are in addition to any powers given to the court under a legislative provision or that it may otherwise have.

1.07  Case Management Practice Direction

             (1)  The Chief Justice may issue a Case Management Practice Direction that is intended to inform those who use the court about:

                     (a)  how the case management system works; and

                     (b)  the arrangements that regulate the progression of a proceeding; and

                     (c)  the court events that occur as a proceeding progresses.

             (2)  The Case Management Practice Direction must be published on the court’s website.

             (3)  The Case Management Practice Direction is subject to these Rules which, among other things, set out the obligations of a party when conducting a case and the matters likely to be relevant to the court in exercising discretionary power.

             (4)  The court may depart from the Case Management Practice Direction if it considers it appropriate to do so having regard to the circumstances of the proceeding, other proceedings awaiting hearing, and available resources.

1.08  Other practice directions

             (1)  The Chief Justice may issue other practice directions setting out the procedural arrangements applicable to particular types of proceeding.

             (2)  Practice directions must be published on the court’s website.

             (3)  Practice directions are subject to these Rules.

             (4)  The court may depart from a practice direction if it considers it appropriate to do so having regard to the circumstances of the proceeding, other proceedings awaiting hearing, and available resources.

Division 1.2.2Case management procedures in particular proceedings

1.09  Divorce proceedings

                   The following apply if a divorce order has been made:

                     (a)  before the order takes effect, a party may make an application under section 57 or 58 of the Family Law Act for rescission of the order, by filing:

                              (i)  an Application for Review; and

                             (ii)  an affidavit setting out the reasons why the divorce order should be rescinded and the evidence in support of the application; and

                     (b)  if a party to the proceeding dies before the order takes effect, the surviving party must inform the court of the death of the other party by filing:

                              (i)  the death certificate of the deceased party; or

                             (ii)  an affidavit stating the details of the deceased party’s date and place of death.

1.10  Surrogacy proceedings

             (1)  This rule applies to applications for parenting orders in relation to a child who was born under a surrogacy arrangement if no final parenting order in relation to the child has been made under Part VII of the Family Law Act.

             (2)  The evidence in support of an application under this rule must include the following:

                     (a)  a copy of the surrogacy agreement (if any), however described;

                     (b)  evidence from each applicant that establishes the applicant’s personal circumstances, including those personal circumstances:

                              (i)  at the time the surrogacy procedure took place; and

                             (ii)  in the period immediately before the surrogacy arrangement was entered into; and

                            (iii)  in the period immediately before conception; and

                            (iv)  in the period immediately after the birth of the child and during subsequent arrangements for the care of the child;

                     (c)  evidence from the surrogate mother that establishes the surrogate mother’s personal circumstances, including those personal circumstances:

                              (i)  at the time the surrogacy procedure took place; and

                             (ii)  in the period immediately before the surrogacy arrangement was entered into; and

                            (iii)  in the period immediately before conception; and

                            (iv)  in the period immediately after the birth of the child and during subsequent arrangements for the care of the child;

                     (d)  evidence from the surrogate mother as to the following:

                              (i)  whether the surrogacy arrangement was made with her informed consent;

                             (ii)  whether she received counselling before entering into the surrogacy arrangement;

                            (iii)  whether she received any legal advice before entering into the surrogacy arrangement;

                     (e)  evidence regarding the surrogacy arrangement entered into between:

                              (i)  the applicant and the surrogate mother; or

                             (ii)  the applicant and the clinic (if any) at which the surrogacy procedure was performed; or

                            (iii)  the applicant, the surrogate mother and the clinic (if any);

                      (f)  evidence regarding the identity of the child, including:

                              (i)  a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate;

                             (ii)  a report, prepared in accordance with regulation 21M of the Family Law Regulations, relating to the information obtained as a result of carrying out a parentage testing procedure;

                            (iii)  if the child is an Australian citizen—either a certified copy of the child’s Australian citizenship certificate, or if the child’s name is referred to on an Australian citizenship certificate issued to one of the child’s parents, a certified copy of the parent’s Australian citizenship certificate;

                            (iv)  if an order of the kind referred to in subsection 60HB(1) of the Act has been made in relation to the child—a copy of the order;

                     (g)  evidence regarding the law in the country where the child was born in relation to:

                              (i)  surrogacy arrangements; and

                             (ii)  the rights of the surrogate mother in relation to the child; and

                            (iii)  the rights of the surrogate mother’s spouse (if any) in relation to the child.

1.11  Medical procedure proceedings

             (1)  This rule applies to applications:

                     (a)  for an order authorising a major medical procedure for a child that is not for the purpose of treating a bodily malfunction or disease; or

                     (b)  where there is a dispute about the Gillick competence of, or the diagnosis or treatment of a child for gender dysphoria as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM‑5) at 302.85 or any subsequent or similar definition.

             (2)  Any of the following may make an application to which this rule applies:

                     (a)  a parent of the child;

                     (b)  a person who has a parenting order in relation to the child;

                     (c)  the child;

                     (d)  the independent children’s lawyer;

                     (e)  any other person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child.

             (3)  If a person referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b) is not an applicant, the person must be named as a respondent to the application.

             (4)  If an application to which this rule applies is filed, evidence must be given to satisfy the court that the proposed medical procedure is in the best interests of the child.

             (5)  The evidence must include evidence from a medical, psychological or other relevant expert witness that establishes the following:

                     (a)  the exact nature and purpose of the proposed medical procedure;

                     (b)  the particular condition of the child for which the procedure is required;

                     (c)  the likely long‑term physical, social and psychological effects on the child:

                              (i)  if the procedure is carried out; and

                             (ii)  if the procedure is not carried out;

                     (d)  the nature and degree of any risk to the child from the procedure;

                     (e)  if alternative and less invasive treatment is available—the reason the procedure is recommended instead of the alternative treatments;

                      (f)  that the procedure is necessary for the welfare of the child;

                     (g)  if the child is capable of making an informed decision about the procedure—whether the child agrees to the procedure;

                     (h)  if the child is incapable of making an informed decision about the procedure—that the child:

                              (i)  is currently incapable of making an informed decision; and

                             (ii)  is unlikely to develop sufficiently to be able to make an informed decision within the time in which the procedure should be carried out, or within the foreseeable future;

                      (i)  whether the child’s parents or carer agree to the procedure.

             (6)  The evidence in support of an application under this rule may be given:

                     (a)  in the form of an affidavit; or

                     (b)  with the court’s permission, orally.

             (7)  An application to which this rule applies and any document filed with it must be served on the prescribed child welfare authority.

1.12  Financial proceedings

             (1)  This rule applies to applications for financial orders other than those to which rule 1.13 applies.

             (2)  A person who applies for an order under Part VIII of the Family Law Act must serve a written notice on each person referred to in subsection 79(10) of that Act of whom the person applying for the order is aware.

             (3)  A person who applies for an order under Part VIIIAB of the Family Law Act must serve a written notice on each person referred to in subsection 90SM(10) of that Act of whom the person applying for the order is aware.

             (4)  A notice under subrule (2) or (3) must:

                     (a)  state that the person to whom the notice is addressed may be entitled to become a party to the proceedings under subsection 79(10) or 90SM(1) of the Family Law Act (as applicable); and

                     (b)  include a copy of the application for the order sought; and

                     (c)  state the date of the next relevant court event.

             (5)  If, in an application for final orders or a response or reply to such an application, a person seeks a flagging order or splitting order in relation to a superannuation interest under Part VIIIB of the Family Law Act, or applies under section 79A or 90SN of that Act for an order to set aside an earlier order made in relation to a superannuation interest:

                     (a)  the person must, immediately after filing the application, response or reply, serve a sealed copy of that document on the trustee of the eligible superannuation plan in which the interest is held; and

                     (b)  if the court makes a flagging order or splitting order or any other order in relation to the superannuation interest—the party in favour of whom the order is made must serve a copy of it on the trustee of the eligible superannuation plan in which the interest is held.

             (6)  If, in a property proceeding, a party seeks an order to bind the trustee of an eligible superannuation plan and the proceeding has been listed for trial:

                     (a)  the party must, not less than 28 days before the first day of the trial, notify the trustee of the eligible superannuation plan in writing of:

                              (i)  the terms of the order that will be sought at the trial to bind the trustee; and

                             (ii)  the date of the trial; and

                     (b)  if the court makes an order binding the trustee of an eligible superannuation plan—the party in favour of whom the order is made must serve a copy of the order on the trustee of the eligible superannuation plan in which the interest is held.

1.13  Child support and child maintenance proceedings

             (1)  This rule applies to the following:

                     (a)  applications or appeals under the Assessment Act or Registration Act (other than an application for leave to appeal from an order of a court exercising jurisdiction under the Assessment Act or Registration Act);

                     (b)  an appeal under section 44AAA of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975;

                     (c)  an application under Division 7 of Part VII of the Family Law Act;

                     (d)  an application under Part III or IV of the Family Law Regulations.

             (2)  Parts 6.2 (Disclosure procedures) and 6.3 (Specific questions) of these Rules do not apply to applications or appeals to which this rule applies.

             (3)  A person must file an application for a declaration under subsection 106A(2) or 107(1) of the Assessment Act within 56 days after being served with a notice given under section 33 or 34 of that Act.

             (4)  Each of the following persons is to be served with an application or appeal to which this rule applies:

                     (a)  each respondent;

                     (b)  a parent or eligible carer of the child in relation to whom the application is made;

                     (c)  the Child Support Registrar;

                     (d)  for appeals from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to which this rule applies:

                              (i)  the Registrar of the Tribunal; and

                             (ii)  any other parties to the appeal.

Division 1.2.3Proceedings to which the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 applies

1.14  Application of Division 34.4 of the Federal Court Rules 2011

                   Division 34.4 of the Federal Court Rules 2011, as modified by rule 1.15 of these Rules or an order, applies to a proceeding in a Family Court or the family law jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) as if the rules in that Division were provisions of these Rules.

1.15  Modifications of the Federal Court Rules 2011

                   For the purposes of rule 1.14 of these Rules, Division 34.4 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 applies as if:

                     (a)  a reference to an originating application were a reference to an application for final orders; and

                     (b)  a reference to an application, a certificate of non‑compliance or a subpoena being in accordance with a Form were disregarded; and

                     (c)  in paragraph 34.62(b), the words “other of these Rules” were omitted and the words “provisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021” were substituted; and

                     (d)  subrule 34.63(1) read as follows: “A person who wants to start a proceeding for an order under the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act must file an originating application, in accordance with rule 2.01 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021.”; and

                     (e)  paragraph 34.64(a) read as follows: “an interlocutory application, in accordance with rule 2.01 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021; and”; and

                      (f)  subrule 34.68(2) were omitted.

1.16  Service of subpoena

                   A subpoena to which Division 2 of Part 5 of the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 applies must also be accompanied by an information sheet in a form approved by the Chief Executive Officer.

Note 1:       Subsection 32(2) of the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 requires the subpoena to be accompanied by a copy of the order giving leave for service and a notice in the prescribed form.

Note 2:       Section 33 of the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 requires the reasonable expenses of complying with the subpoena to be paid at the time of service of the subpoena or at some other reasonable time before compliance with the subpoena is required.

Division 1.2.4Applications under the Corporations Act 2001 and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006

1.17  Application of Division 1.2.4

                   This Division applies to a proceeding started in, or transferred to, a Family Court under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

Note:          The Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) does not have jurisdiction under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

1.18  Application of the Corporations Rules

                   The Corporations Rules, as modified by rule 1.19 of these Rules or an order, apply to an application under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 in a Family Court as if the Corporations Rules were provisions of these Rules.

1.19  Modification of the Corporations Rules

                   For the purposes of rule 1.18 of these Rules, the Corporations Rules apply as if:

                     (a)  in rules 5.9 and 16.1, a reference to a Registrar were a reference to a Judicial Registrar; and

                     (b)  in subrule 16.1(1), the reference to paragraph 35A(1)(h) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 were a reference to paragraph 98(2)(l) of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021; and

                     (c)  in rule 16.2, a reference to a Registrar were a reference to a Judicial Registrar; and

                     (d)  in the heading to Schedule 2, a reference to a Registrar were a reference to a Judicial Registrar.

1.20  Application under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006

                   An application under the Corporations Act 2001 or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 must not be dismissed only because it has been made in the wrong form.

Division 1.2.5Proceedings to which the Bankruptcy Act 1966 applies

1.21  Application of Division 1.2.5

             (1)  This Division applies to a proceeding in which a Family Court has jurisdiction in bankruptcy under section 35, 35A or 35B of the Bankruptcy Act.

Note:          This Division does not apply to bankruptcy proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2). In a proceeding in the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) to which the Bankruptcy Act applies, the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021 generally apply.

             (2)  If this Division applies to a proceeding, Division 1.2.4 does not apply to the proceeding.

1.22  Application of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021

                   Parts 1, 2, 7, 8 and 12 and Divisions 6.2, 6.3 and 13.1 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021, as modified by rule 1.23 of these Rules or an order, apply to a proceeding in which a Family Court has jurisdiction in bankruptcy under section 35, 35A or 35B of the Bankruptcy Act as if the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021 were provisions of these Rules.

1.23  Modifications of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021

             (1)  For the purposes of rule 1.22 of these Rules, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021 apply as if:

                     (a)  a reference to an originating application were a reference to an application for final orders; and

                     (b)  a reference to an interim application were a reference to an interlocutory application; and

                     (c)  a reference to an application being in accordance with a particular Form were disregarded; and

                     (d)  rules 1.07 and 2.02, paragraphs 7.01(b) and 7.04(1)(b), rule 7.05, subrule 7.06(4) and rule 12.03 of those Rules were omitted; and

                     (e)  the modifications in Table 1.2 were made.

 

Table 1.2—Additional modifications of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021

Item

Provision

Omit (wherever occurring)

Substitute

1

Rules 6.07 and 6.13

in closed court

in chambers

2

Paragraphs 6.09(a) and 6.15(a)

by hand

by personal service

3

Paragraph 6.09(a), rule 6.10, subrule 6.11(4), rule 6.15, subrule 6.16(4) and rule 12.02

the Court or a Registrar

the court

4

Subrule 7.03(1)

a creditor of the bankrupt or a creditor of the estate of the deceased person.

a creditor of the bankrupt

5

Subrules 7.04(2) and 8.02(5)

rule 17.08 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (General Federal Law) Rules 2021

rule 10.21 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021

6

Paragraph 7.04(3)(a)

the bankrupt or deceased person

the bankrupt

7

Subrule 7.06(1)

rule 7.01 or 7.05

paragraph 7.01(a)

8

Subrule 7.06(2)

the bankruptcy or the administration of the estate of the deceased person

the bankruptcy

9

Rule 12.01

debtor or bankrupt

bankrupt

10

Rule 13.01

Subject to Division 13.2,

Unless the court otherwise orders,

             (2)  For the purposes of rule 1.22 of these Rules and rule 13.01 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021 (as applied by rule 1.22 of these Rules), Part 40 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 applies as if:

                     (a)  a reference to the Court were a reference to a Family Court; and

                     (b)  a reference to an application were a reference to an application in a Family Court started by an application for final orders or transferred to a Family Court under section 35A of the Bankruptcy Act; and

                     (c)  a reference to an interlocutory application included a reference to an interlocutory application in a Family Court; and

                     (d)  a reference to a Registrar or taxing officer were a reference to a Judicial Registrar of a Family Court.

1.24  Forms in proceedings to which the Bankruptcy Act applies

             (1)  For the purposes of a provision of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (Bankruptcy) Rules 2021 that may apply to a proceeding because of this Division, a form may be approved:

                     (a)  for use in the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1)—by the Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 1); or

                     (b)  for use in the Family Court of Western Australia—by the Chief Judge of the Family Court of Western Australia.

             (2)  A form approved under subrule (1) must be published on the relevant court’s website.

             (3)  An application to which the Bankruptcy Act applies must not be dismissed only because it has been made in the wrong form.

Division 1.2.6Arbitration

1.25  Application of Division 1.2.6

                   This Division applies to an arbitration under the Family Law Act.

Note:          Part 5 of the Family Law Regulations imposes additional requirements relating to arbitration.

1.26  Referral of question of law by an arbitrator

             (1)  A referral of a question of law by an arbitrator under section 13G of the Family Law Act must be made by application in accordance with the approved form.

Note:          Subsection 13G(1) of the Family Law Act provides that the referral may be made to the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2) or to a single judge of the Family Court of a State.

             (2)  The arbitrator must give each party to the arbitration a copy of the application within 7 days after making the application.

1.27  Referral of other matters to the court by the arbitrator

             (1)  A referral by an arbitrator of a matter to the court under paragraph 67H(3)(b), 67K(b) or 67L(1)(b) of the Family Law Regulations must be made by written notice to the Registry Manager.

Note:          Regulation 67H is about costs of arbitrations. Regulation 67K is about suspension of arbitrations for failure to comply with directions. Regulation 67L is about termination of arbitrations for lack of capacity.

             (2)  A referral by an arbitrator of a matter to the court under paragraph 67L(1)(b) of the Family Law Regulations must be made within 7 days after the arbitration is terminated.

1.28  Informing the court about awards made in arbitration

                   An arbitrator must inform the court of the matters referred to in paragraph 67P(4)(b) of the Family Law Regulations, by written notice to the Registry Manager, within 7 days after making an award.

1.29  Registration of awards made in arbitration

             (1)  A copy of an application to register an arbitration award required to be served under subregulation 67Q(2) of the Family Law Regulations must be served within 14 days after the day the application is filed.

             (2)  The applicant must file an Affidavit of Service within 7 days after the day a copy of the application is so served.

1.30  Response to applications in relation to arbitration

             (1)  This rule applies if:

                     (a)  an application is made to the court in relation to an arbitration (whether the application is made under this Chapter, the Family Law Regulations or the Family Law Act); and

                     (b)  a respondent to the application:

                              (i)  seeks to oppose the application; or

                             (ii)  seeks different orders to those sought in the application.

             (2)  The respondent must file:

                     (a)  a response in accordance with the approved form; and

                     (b)  an affidavit stating the facts relied on in support of the response.

             (3)  The response and affidavit must be filed and served within 7 days after the day the application was served.

Part 1.3Court’s powers in relation to the Rules

  

1.31  Court may make orders or dispense with these Rules

             (1)  The court may, in the interests of justice, dispense with compliance, or full compliance, with any of these Rules at any time.

             (2)  If, in a proceeding, the court gives a direction or makes an order that is inconsistent with any of these Rules, the direction or order of the court prevails in that proceeding.

1.32  Applications for orders about procedures

                   A person who wants to start a proceeding, or take a step in a proceeding, may apply to the court for an order about the procedure to be followed if:

                     (a)  the procedure is not prescribed by the Family Law Act, these Rules or by or under any other Act; or

                     (b)  the person is in doubt about the procedure.

1.33  Failure to comply with a legislative provision or order

             (1)  If a step is taken after the time specified for taking the step by these Rules, the Family Law Regulations or a procedural order, the step is of no effect.

             (2)  If a party to a proceeding does not comply with these Rules, the Family Law Regulations or a procedural order, the court may do any of the following:

                     (a)  dismiss all or part of the proceeding;

                     (b)  set aside a step taken or an order made;

                     (c)  determine the proceeding as if it were undefended;

                     (d)  order costs;

                     (e)  prohibit the party from taking a further step in the proceeding until the occurrence of a specified event;

                      (f)  make any other order the court considers necessary, having regard to the overarching purpose of these Rules (see rule 1.04).

Note:          This subrule does not limit the powers of the court. It is an expectation that a non‑defaulting party will minimise any loss.

1.34  Relief from orders

             (1)  A party may apply for relief from:

                     (a)  the effect of subrule 1.33(1); or

                     (b)  an order under subrule 1.33(2).

             (2)  In determining an application under subrule (1), the court may consider the following:

                     (a)  whether there is a good reason for the non‑compliance;

                     (b)  the extent to which the party has complied with orders, legislative provisions and pre‑action procedures;

                     (c)  whether the non‑compliance was caused by the party or the party’s lawyer;

                     (d)  the impact of the non‑compliance on the management of the proceeding;

                     (e)  the effect of the non‑compliance on each other party;

                      (f)  costs;

                     (g)  whether the party should be stayed from taking any further steps in the proceeding until the costs are paid;

                     (h)  if the application is for relief from the effect of subrule 1.33(1)—whether all parties consent to the step being taken after the specified time.

Note:          This subrule does not limit the powers of the court.

Chapter 2Starting a proceeding

   

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 2

Part 2.1Required documents

  

2.01  Which application form must be filed

             (1)  Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, a proceeding must be started by filing an application for final orders in accordance with the relevant approved form.

             (2)  An application for final orders may include an application for an interlocutory order.

             (3)  A person must not file an application for an interlocutory order unless:

                     (a)  an application for final orders is current in the proceeding; or

                     (b)  the application includes an application for final orders.

             (4)  If a person makes an application for an interlocutory order after the start of the proceeding and before final orders have been made in the proceeding, the application must be made by filing an Application in a Proceeding.

             (5)  The required documents must be filed with an application if they have not already been filed in the proceeding.

             (6)  The relevant approved forms are set out in Table 2.1.

 

Table 2.1—Approved forms

Item

Kind of application

Application in the approved form to be filed

1

Application seeking final orders (other than a consent order or a divorce), for example:

(a) property settlement;

(b) parenting (including in relation to a child born under a surrogacy arrangement);

(c) maintenance;

(d) child support;

(e) medical procedure;

(f) nullity;

(g) declaration as to validity of marriage, divorce or annulment;

(h) order relating to a passport

Initiating Application (Family Law)

2

Interlocutory orders sought at the same time as an application for final orders is made

Initiating Application (Family Law)

3

Interlocutory orders sought after an application for final orders is made

Application in a Proceeding

4

Enforcement of a financial obligation or parenting order

Application—Enforcement

5

Divorce

Application for Divorce

6

Consent order when there is no current proceeding

Application for Consent Orders

7

Contravention of an order under Division 13A of Part VII of the Family Law Act affecting children

Application—Contravention

8

Contravention of an order under Part XIIIA of the Family Law Act not affecting children

Application—Contravention

9

Failure to comply with a bond entered into in accordance with the Family Law Act

Application—Contravention

10

Contempt of court

Application—Contempt

11

Review of an order of a Judicial Registrar

Application for Review

 

Part 2.2Notification in certain proceedings

Division 2.2.1Child abuse, family violence or other risks of harm to children

2.02  Definitions for Division 2.2.1

                   In this Division:

interested person:

                     (a)  in a proceeding to which section 67Z of the Family Law Act applies—has the meaning given by subsection (4) of that section; and

                     (b)  in a proceeding to which section 67ZBA of the Family Law Act applies—has the meaning given by subsection (4) of that section.

2.03  Approved form for notice for the purposes of sections 67Z and 67ZBA of the Family Law Act

                   A Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk is the form approved for the purposes of sections 67Z and 67ZBA of the Family Law Act.

Note:          A Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk is also a method by which the court may fulfil its obligations under paragraph 69ZQ(1)(aa) of the Family Law Act.

2.04  Requirement to file Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk in parenting proceedings

             (1)  A person who:

                     (a)  makes an application to the Federal Circuit and Family Court for a parenting order; or

                     (b)  files a response to such an application; or

                     (c)  files any response which seeks a parenting order;

must file a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk with the application or response.

Note 1:       If a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed in a proceeding alleges that a child to whom the proceeding relates has been abused or is at risk of being abused by a person, or that there has been family violence or that there is a risk of family violence by one of the parties to the proceeding, a true copy of the notice must be served on the person to whom the allegations relate: see subsections 67Z(2) and 67ZBA(2) of the Family Law Act.

Note 2:       If a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed in a proceeding alleges that a child to whom the proceeding relates has been abused or is at risk of being abused, the Registry Manager must notify a prescribed child welfare authority: see subsection 67Z(3) and paragraph 67ZBA(3)(b) of the Family Law Act.

             (2)  A person who files a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk under subrule (1) that includes one or more allegations of child abuse, family violence or a risk of harm to a child must file an affidavit stating the evidence on which each allegation set out in the notice is based, no later than the time the notice is filed.

             (3)  Subrule (2) does not apply to a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed with an Application for Consent Orders in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.

Note:          For additional obligations when an application is made for a parenting order by consent, see rule 10.05.

2.05  Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed by an interested person

                   If:

                     (a)  an interested person files a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk in a proceeding for the purposes of subsection 67Z(2) or 67ZBA(2) of the Family Law Act; and

                     (b)  the Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk was not filed under rule 2.04;

the interested person must file an affidavit stating the evidence on which each allegation set out in the notice is based, no later than the time the notice is filed.

2.06  Amendment of Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk

                   If:

                     (a)  a person who is a party to a proceeding, or an interested person in the proceeding, has filed a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk in the proceeding; and

                     (b)  after filing the notice, the person becomes aware of new facts or circumstances that would require the person to file a notice for the purposes of subsection 67Z(2) or 67ZBA(2) of the Family Law Act in relation to those facts or circumstances;

the person must file:

                     (c)  a new Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk setting out those facts or circumstances; and

                     (d)  an affidavit stating the evidence on which each allegation set out in the notice is based.

Note 1:       A true copy of a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk that is filed for the purposes of subsection 67Z(2) or 67ZBA(2) of the Family Law Act must be served on the person to whom the allegations relate: see subsections 67Z(2) and 67ZBA(2) of the Family Law Act.

Note 2:       If a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed in a proceeding alleges that a child to whom the proceeding relates has been abused or is at risk of being abused, the Registry Manager must notify a prescribed child welfare authority: see subsection 67Z(3) and paragraph 67ZBA(3)(b) of the Family Law Act.

2.07  Proceedings transferred from another court

             (1)  This rule applies if a proceeding in which a parenting order is sought is transferred to the Federal Circuit and Family Court from another court.

             (2)  Each party to the proceeding must file:

                     (a)  a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk; and

                     (b)  if the party’s Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk includes one or more allegations of child abuse, family violence or a risk of harm to a child—an affidavit stating the evidence on which each allegation set out in the notice is based.

             (3)  The Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk and any related affidavit must be filed before the first court date for the proceeding in the court to which the proceeding is transferred.

             (4)  Nothing in this rule requires a party to refile a document under this Part that was filed in the proceeding before the transfer.

2.08  Content of Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk

                   A Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk filed in a proceeding must set out brief particulars of the facts and circumstances on which each allegation (if any) set out in the notice is based.

2.09  When a notice in an approved form for the purposes of sections 67Z and 67ZBA of the Family Law Act is taken to have been filed

                   If:

                     (a)  a person who is a party to a proceeding, or an interested person in a proceeding, files a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk in the proceeding; and

                     (b)  the Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk alleges:

                              (i)  that a child to whom the proceeding relates has been abused or is at risk of being abused; or

                             (ii)  that there has been family violence, or there is a risk of family violence, by one of the parties to the proceeding;

the person is taken to have filed a notice in an approved form for the purposes of subsection 67Z(2) or 67ZBA(2) of the Family Law Act in relation to the allegation.

2.10  Requirement to file family violence orders in certain proceedings

             (1)  A party to a proceeding who is seeking a parenting order or other order under Part VII of the Family Law Act in relation to a child must file a copy of any family violence order affecting the child or a member of the child’s family.

             (2)  A party to a financial proceeding must file a copy of any family violence order affecting the party.

             (3)  If a party is required by subrule (1) or (2) to file a copy of a family violence order but it is not available, the party must file a written notice setting out:

                     (a)  an undertaking to file the order within a specified time; and

                     (b)  the date of the order; and

                     (c)  the court that made the order; and

                     (d)  the details of the order.

             (4)  The family violence order, or the notice under subrule (3), must be filed:

                     (a)  when the proceeding starts; or

                     (b)  as soon as practicable after the family violence order is made.

             (5)  If, during the proceeding, a family violence order filed pursuant to subrule (1) or (2) is varied, each party affected by the variation must, as soon as practicable after the order is varied, file a copy of the variation.

             (6)  This rule does not require a party to file a copy of any document that has already been filed in the proceeding by another party.

Division 2.2.2Notification of other matters

2.11  Notification of proceeds of crime order or forfeiture application

                   If a party to a property settlement or spousal maintenance proceeding, or a de facto property settlement or maintenance proceeding, is required to give the Registry Manager written notice under subsection 79B(3), 90M(3) or 90VA(3) of the Family Law Act of a proceeds of crime order or forfeiture application, the party must:

                     (a)  file the notice as soon as possible after the party is notified by the proceeds of crime authority under paragraph 79B(3)(b), 90M(3)(b) or 90VA(3)(b) of the Family Law Act; and

                     (b)  if the person is required under paragraph 79B(3)(d), 90M(3)(d) or 90VA(3)(d) of the Family Law Act to give a document to the Registry Manager—attach the document to the notice.

2.12  Proceeds of crime

             (1)  If the proceeds of crime authority applies under section 79C, 90N or 90VB of the Family Law Act to stay a property settlement or spousal maintenance proceeding, or a de facto property settlement or maintenance proceeding, the authority must, at the same time, file a sealed copy of the proceeds of crime order or forfeiture application covering the property of the parties to the marriage or either of them, if not already filed.

             (2)  An application under section 79D, 90P or 90VC of the Family Law Act to lift a stay of a property settlement or spousal maintenance proceeding, or a de facto property settlement or maintenance proceedings, must have filed with it:

                     (a)  proof that the proceeds of crime order has ceased to be in force or that the forfeiture application has been finally determined; and

                     (b)  if made by a party—the written consent of the proceeds of crime authority under section 79D, 90P or 90VC of the Family Law Act.

2.13  Notice of constitutional matter

             (1)  If a party is, or becomes, aware that a proceeding involves a matter that:

                     (a)  arises under the Constitution or involves its interpretation, within the meaning of section 78B of the Judiciary Act 1903; and

                     (b)  is a genuine issue in the proceeding;

the party must give written notice of the matter to the Attorneys‑General of the Commonwealth, and each State and Territory, and to each other party to the proceeding.

             (2)  The notice must state:

                     (a)  the nature of the matter; and

                     (b)  the issues in the proceeding; and

                     (c)  the constitutional issue to be raised; and

                     (d)  the facts relied on to show that section 78B of the Judiciary Act 1903 applies.

Note:          Section 78B of the Judiciary Act 1903 provides that once a court becomes aware that a proceeding involves a matter referred to in that section, it is the court’s duty not to proceed to determine the proceeding unless and until it is satisfied that notice of the proceeding has been given to the Attorneys‑General of the Commonwealth and of the States and Territories.

Part 2.3Form of documents

  

2.14  Formal requirements for documents

             (1)  Documents, other than forms, filed with the court must:

                     (a)  be typed in at least 12 point font size (Times New Roman or equivalent) with line spacing of 1.5 lines; and

                     (b)  have margins (left, right, top and bottom) of approximately 2.5 cm; and

                     (c)  have each page consecutively numbered; and

                     (d)  have a coversheet in the approved form including the court file number distinctive to the proceeding.

             (2)  Paper documents should be:

                     (a)  legible and without erasures, blotting out or material disfigurement; and

                     (b)  printed on one side only of white A4 paper; and

                     (c)  securely bound or fastened.

             (3)  Electronic documents must be filed in PDF format.

             (4)  A document filed or served (other than an affidavit, annexure or exhibit) must be signed by a party or by the lawyer for the party unless the nature of the document is such that signature is inappropriate.

             (5)  Subrules (1) to (4) do not need to be strictly complied with if the nature of the document, or the manner of filing, means that strict compliance would be impracticable.

Note:          For formal requirements for affidavits, see Part 8.3.

2.15  Corporation as a party

                   If a document (including an application for permission to intervene) names a corporation as a party, the document must include the corporation’s full name, registered office and Australian Company Number (ACN).

2.16  Change of name of party

             (1)  If a party’s name is changed after the start of a proceeding, the party must give written notice of the change of name to the court and each other party.

             (2)  The new name must be used in all documents later filed.

2.17  Documents not in English

                   If a document that must be filed with the court is not in English, the person filing the document must also file:

                     (a)  a translation of the document in English; and

                     (b)  an affidavit, by the person who made the translation, verifying the translation and setting out the person’s qualifications to make the translation.

Part 2.4Responding to an application

  

2.18  When to respond to an application

             (1)  A respondent to an application who seeks to do any of the following must file a response in accordance with the approved form:

                     (a)  indicate consent to an order sought by the applicant;

                     (b)  ask the court to make another order;

                     (c)  ask the court to dismiss the application;

                     (d)  seek orders in a matter other than the matter set out in the application.

             (2)  A response must be filed and served within 28 days after service of the application to which it relates.

Note 1:       Rule 2.04 requires a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk to be filed with a response in a parenting proceeding.

Note 2:       If a response seeks a parenting order or any other order under Part VII of the Family Law Act in relation to a child, rule 2.10 requires the respondent to file a copy of any family violence order affecting the child or a member of the child’s family that has not already been filed in the proceeding.

Note 3:       The consequences for a failure to comply with this rule can include orders as to costs (see rule 1.33(2)(d)).

             (3)  A Response to an Initiating Application (Family Law) must not include a request for any of the following orders:

                     (a)  a divorce order;

                     (b)  an order that a marriage be annulled;

                     (c)  a declaration as to validity of a marriage, divorce or annulment;

                     (d)  an order under rule 1.11 authorising a medical procedure.

2.19  Response objecting to jurisdiction

             (1)  A respondent seeking to object to the jurisdiction of the court:

                     (a)  must file a response; and

                     (b)  is not taken to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court by seeking other orders in the response.

             (2)  The objection to the jurisdiction must be determined before any other orders sought in the response.

2.20  When to file an affidavit with a response

                   A respondent must not file an affidavit with a response to an application unless the respondent is:

                     (a)  responding to interlocutory orders sought in the application; or

                     (b)  seeking interlocutory orders in the response; or

                     (c)  required to do so by another provision of these Rules or by a practice direction.

2.21  How to reply to a response

             (1)  An applicant must file a reply if:

                     (a)  in the response, the respondent seeks orders in a cause of action other than a cause of action referred to in the application; and

                     (b)  the applicant seeks:

                              (i)  to oppose the orders sought in the response; or

                             (ii)  different orders in the cause of action referred to in the response.

             (2)  A person other than the applicant (an additional party) must file a reply to a response if:

                     (a)  in the response, the respondent seeks orders against the additional party; and

                     (b)  the additional party seeks:

                              (i)  to oppose the orders sought in the response; or

                             (ii)  different orders to the orders sought in the response.

             (3)  If a party wishes to file a reply, the party must file and serve the reply within 14 days after service of the response to which the reply relates.

2.22  If the application or response is not contested

             (1)  If a party has been served with a document referred to in subrule (2), and the party does not want to contest the relief sought in the document, the party may file and serve a submitting notice in the approved form.

             (2)  The documents are the following:

                     (a)  an application for final orders;

                     (b)  a response to an application for final orders;

                     (c)  a reply to a response to an application for final orders.

             (3)  The submitting notice must:

                     (a)  state that the party submits to any order that the court may make; and

                     (b)  state whether the party wants to be heard on the question of costs; and

                     (c)  include an address for service.

             (4)  A submitting notice for a party served with a document referred to in subrule (2) must be filed:

                     (a)  before the first court date; or

                     (b)  if the party was added to the proceeding after that date—before the date for the next procedural hearing.

             (5)  A party who has filed a submitting notice may apply to the court for leave to withdraw the notice.

             (6)  An application under subrule (5) must be accompanied by an affidavit stating:

                     (a)  why the party wants to withdraw the submitting notice; and

                     (b)  the party’s intentions in relation to the further conduct of the proceeding.

Part 2.5Filing documents

  

2.23  How documents may be filed

             (1)  A document must be filed electronically as permitted by the court, unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so.

             (2)  If it is not reasonably practicable to file a document electronically, the document may be filed:

                     (a)  by delivering it to the registry; or

                     (b)  by sending it to the registry by post.

             (3)  A document is filed when:

                     (a)  the filing fee has been paid (or an exemption or deferral applies); and

                     (b)  the document is accepted for filing by the Registry Manager and sealed with the seal of the court or marked with a court stamp, as required by Part 15.1.

             (4)  A document that is sent for filing by electronic communication after 4.30 pm by legal time in the Australian Capital Territory is taken to have been received by the filing registry on the next day the filing registry is open.

             (5)  Except as otherwise required by these Rules or an order, a document to be relied on in a court event must be filed at least 1 day before the date fixed for that event.

             (6)  A Judge or Judicial Registrar may require a party to give an undertaking to pay a filing fee before accepting a document for filing.

Note:          Regulation 2.11(3) of the Family Law (Fees) Regulations 2012 permits a Judge or a Judicial Registrar to allow a document to be filed despite the required fee not being paid.

             (7)  A person who pays money into court must file a Notice of Payment stating the amount and purpose for which the money is paid into court.

2.24  Rejection of documents

             (1)  The court may reject a document filed or received for filing if the document:

                     (a)  is not in the proper form in accordance with these Rules; or

                     (b)  is not executed in the way required by these Rules; or

                     (c)  does not otherwise comply with a requirement of these Rules; or

                     (d)  is tendered for filing after the time specified in these Rules or an order for filing the document, or is otherwise contrary to directions given; or

                     (e)  on its face, appears to the court to be an abuse of process, frivolous, scandalous or vexatious; or

                      (f)  is tendered for filing in connection with a current proceeding in a registry that is not the filing registry; or

                     (g)  is filed electronically and the person filing the document has not complied with the court’s electronic filing procedures.

Note:          A person who starts a proceeding by making an application for an order under Part VII of the Family Law Act must file a certificate under subsection 60I(8) of the Family Law Act with the application or an affidavit if no certificate is required because an exception applies (see rule 4.02).

             (2)  If a judicial officer rejects a document filed or received for filing under subrule (1), the judicial officer may give directions about any step already taken on the document, including a direction about costs.

             (3)  If a decision under subrule (1) is made by the court constituted by a Judicial Registrar (other than an Appeal Judicial Registrar), a person may apply for review of the Registrar’s decision under subrule (1), or directions given by the Registrar under subrule (2), by filing an Application for Review without notice.

Note:          For review of an Appeal Judicial Registrar’s decision to reject a document, see rule 13.40.

Part 2.6Serving documents in Australia

Division 2.6.1General

2.25  Address for service

             (1)  A party to a proceeding must give an address for service.

             (2)  A party must give only one address for service for each application filed.

             (3)  A party may give an address for service:

                     (a)  by filing a relevant document that includes an address for service; or

                     (b)  by filing a notice of address for service in accordance with the approved form.

             (4)  An address for service must include:

                     (a)  a current email address for the party; and

                     (b)  an address in Australia, unless disclosing this address would compromise the party’s safety; and

                     (c)  a telephone number at which the party may be contacted during normal business hours.

             (5)  If, in a parenting proceeding, the address where a party or child is living is not disclosed to another party or parties, the address must be provided to the court by email and the address must not be disclosed other than in accordance with an order of the court.

             (6)  If the party is represented by a lawyer who has general authority to act for the party, the address for service for the party must be the address of the lawyer.

2.26  Change of address for service

                   If a party’s address for service, including the email address, changes for any reason during a proceeding, the party must file a notice of address for service and serve the notice on each other party as soon as practicable and in any event within 7 days after the change.

Note 1:       A new address for service will be needed if a party:

(a)    acts in person and changes the party’s address; or

(b)    initially acts in person and later appoints a lawyer; or

(c)    initially appoints a lawyer and later acts in person; or

(d)    changes lawyers during the proceeding.

Note 2:       Until a Notice of Address for Service is filed and served, the previous address remains on the court record as the address for service, and all documents will be served at that address unless subrule 3.10(2) applies.

2.27  General requirements for service of documents

             (1)  A document to be served in a proceeding must be filed and sealed.

             (2)  An application and any document filed with it must be served on each party to the proceeding in the manner indicated in Table 2.2 in rule 2.28 and within the time referred to in rules 2.29 to 2.31.

             (3)  If a document, other than an application and its related documents, is required to be served, the person who files the document must serve a copy of it as soon as practicable:

                     (a)  on each other party to the proceeding who has an address for service in the proceeding; and

                     (b)  on any independent children’s lawyer in the proceeding; and

                     (c)  on any other person specifically required by a legislative provision or order to be served in the proceeding.

2.28  Manner of service

             (1)  A person must serve a document in the manner set out in Table 2.2, unless otherwise required by a legislative provision.

             (2)  A person who files an Initiating Application (Family Law) or an Application for Divorce must, when serving the application on the respondent, also serve a brochure prepared by the court for the purposes of section 12F of the Family Law Act.

             (3)  A person who files an application for enforcement must, when serving the application on the respondent, also serve a brochure prepared by the court giving information about enforcement hearings.

             (4)  A document or brochure that must be served with a form must be served in the same manner as the form.

             (5)  The following documents do not have to be served on any other party:

                     (a)  a joint application;

                     (b)  an application without notice;

                     (c)  an Affidavit of Service;

                     (d)  a document signed by all parties;

                     (e)  an affidavit seeking the issue, without notice, of an Enforcement Warrant under rule 11.15 or a Third Party Debt Notice under rule 11.34.

 

Table 2.2—Service of documents

Item

Document

Manner of service

1

Initiating Application (Family Law)

Application—Enforcement

Application—Contravention

Application—Contempt

Order made on application without notice (see Part 5.2)

Personal service

(see Division 2.6.2)

2

Application for Divorce (see Division 2.6.4)

A subpoena or a copy of a subpoena (see rules 2.30 and 6.30)

Third Party Debt Notice (see Division 11.1.4)

Notice of Appeal (see rule 13.05)

Documents required to be served with a Form (see subrule 2.28(4))

Brochures required to be served with a Form (see subrule 2.28(4))

Specific service requirements

3

All other documents including:

(a) an Application in a Proceeding (other than an application that must be served by personal service); and

(b) notices required to be given under these Rules

Ordinary service

(see Division 2.6.3)

2.29  General time limit for service

                   Unless the court otherwise orders, a document that is filed must be served on each person to be served:

                     (a)  as soon as possible after the date of filing and no more than 12 months after that date; or

                     (b)  if a provision elsewhere in these Rules specifies a time for service – within the specified time.

2.30  Time for service of subpoena

                   A subpoena must not be served more than 3 months after it is issued.

2.31  Time for service of applications

                   Unless the court directs otherwise, an application and any document filed with it must not be served:

                     (a)  less than 3 days before the day fixed for the hearing of an interlocutory application; or

                     (b)  less than 7 days before the day fixed for the hearing of any other application.

Note:          A person may apply for an extension of time to make an application (see rule 15.06).

2.32  Proof of service

             (1)  Service of an application is proved:

                     (a)  by filing an affidavit of service; or

                     (b)  by the respondent filing a notice of address for service or a response; or

                     (c)  if service was carried out by giving the application to a lawyer—by filing an acknowledgement of service that has been signed by the lawyer.

             (2)  Service of any other document is proved by filing an affidavit of service.

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a) and subrule (2), the approved form may be used.

             (4)  A statement by a person of the person’s identity, office or position is evidence of the person’s identity, or the holding of the office or position.

             (5)  Evidence about the identity, office or position of a person served may be given by another person.

Note:          For proof of service of an Application for Divorce, see rules 2.45 to 2.47.

2.33  Court’s discretion in relation to service

                   Nothing in this Part affects the power of the court:

                     (a)  to authorise service of a document in a way that is not provided for in this Part; or

                     (b)  to find that a document has been served; or

                     (c)  to find that a document has been served on a particular day.

2.34  Service with conditions or dispensing with service

             (1)  A party who is unable to serve a document may apply, without notice, for an order:

                     (a)  to serve the document in another way; or

                     (b)  to dispense with service of the document, with or without conditions.

             (2)  The factors the court may have regard to when considering an application under subrule (1) include the following:

                     (a)  the proposed method of bringing the document to the attention of the person to be served;

                     (b)  whether all reasonable steps have been taken to serve the document or bring it to the notice of the person to be served;

                     (c)  whether the person to be served could reasonably become aware of the existence and nature of the document by advertisement or another form of communication that is reasonably available;

                     (d)  the likely cost of service;

                     (e)  the nature of the proceeding.

             (3)  If the court orders that service of a document is:

                     (a)  dispensed with unconditionally; or

                     (b)  dispensed with on a condition that is complied with;

the document is taken to have been served.

Note:          An application under this rule is made by filing an Application in a Proceeding and an affidavit (see rules 5.02 and 5.04).

Division 2.6.2Personal service

2.35  Personal service—general

             (1)  A person serving a document personally on an individual must give a copy of the document to the person to be served.

             (2)  However, if the person to be served does not take the copy of the document, the person serving it may put it down in the presence of the person to be served and tell the person what it is.

             (3)  The person serving a document must not be the party on whose behalf the document is served, but the party may be present when personal service occurs.

2.36  Personal service through a lawyer

                   A document is taken to be served personally on a person if:

                     (a)  a lawyer representing the person agrees, in writing, to accept service of the document for the person; and

                     (b)  the document is served on the lawyer:

                              (i)  in accordance with rule 2.35; or

                             (ii)  in another manner as agreed with the lawyer.

2.37  Personal service on a person with a legal incapacity

             (1)  Despite rule 2.35, a document that is required to be served personally on a person with a legal incapacity must be served:

                     (a)  on the person’s litigation guardian; or

                     (b)  if there is no litigation guardian—on a person who is entitled under subrule 3.16(2) to be the person’s litigation guardian for the proceeding; or

                     (c)  if there is no one under paragraph (a) or (b)—on an adult who has the care of the person.

             (2)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), the person in charge of a hospital, nursing home or other care facility is taken to have the care of a person who is a patient in the hospital, nursing home or care facility.

2.38  Personal service on a prisoner

             (1)  A document that is required to be served personally on a prisoner must be served:

                     (a)  personally on the person in charge of the prison; or

                     (b)  by post or electronic communication to the person in charge of the prison.

             (2)  A person serving a document on another person by post or electronic communication must include with the document:

                     (a)  an Acknowledgement of Service for the other person served to sign; and

                     (b)  if the document is served by post in Australia—a stamped self‑addressed envelope.

             (3)  At the time of service of an Application or Notice of Appeal on a prisoner, the prisoner must be informed, in writing, about the requirement to attend by electronic communication under rule 13.33 or 15.18 (whichever is applicable).

2.39  Personal service on a corporation

                   A document that is required to be served personally on a corporation must be served in accordance with section 109X of the Corporations Act 2001.

Note:          Section 109X(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 is as follows:

(1)    For the purposes of any law, a document may be served on a company by:

(a)    leaving it at, or posting it to, the company’s registered office; or

(b)    delivering a copy of the document personally to a director of the company who resides in Australia or in an external Territory; or

(c)    if a liquidator of the company has been appointed—leaving it at, or posting it to, the address of the liquidator’s office in the most recent notice of that address lodged with ASIC; or

(d)    if an administrator of the company has been appointed—leaving it at, or posting it to, the address of the administrator in the most recent notice of that address lodged with ASIC.

Division 2.6.3Ordinary service

2.40  Ordinary service

             (1)  If a document is not required to be served personally, the document may be served on a person at the person’s address for service:

                     (a)  by sending the document to the email address; or

                     (b)  by delivering it to the address in a sealed envelope addressed to the person; or

                     (c)  by sending it to the address by pre‑paid post in a sealed envelope addressed to the person; or

                     (d)  if the address includes the number of a document exchange box of a lawyer—by sealing the document in an envelope that complies with any prepayment requirements of the document exchange and is addressed to the lawyer (at that box address), and placing the envelope:

                              (i)  in that box; or

                             (ii)  in a box provided at another branch of the document exchange for delivery of documents to the box address.

             (2)  If the person does not have an address for service, the document may be served on the person:

                     (a)  by sending it to the person’s last known email address; or

                     (b)  by delivering it to the person’s last known address or place of business in a sealed envelope addressed to the person; or

                     (c)  by sending it by pre‑paid post in a sealed envelope addressed to the person at the person’s last known address or place of business; or

                     (d)  if a law of the Commonwealth or of the State or Territory in which service is to be effected provides for service of a document on a corporation or organisation—by serving the document in accordance with such provision.

2.41  When service is effected

                   A document served electronically or by post is taken to have been served:

                     (a)  if the document was sent electronically—on the next business day after the document was sent; or

                     (b)  if the document was posted to an address in Australia—on the day by which the document would be delivered in the ordinary course of the post; or

                     (c)  if the document was posted by airmail to an address outside Australia—on the 28th day after posting.

Division 2.6.4Service of Application for Divorce

2.42  Service of application

                   An Application for Divorce must be served on the respondent by:

                     (a)  personal service in accordance with rule 2.35; or

                     (b)  sending it by pre‑paid post in a sealed envelope addressed to the respondent at the respondent’s last known address.

2.43  Additional requirements for service by post

                   A person serving an Application for Divorce by post must include with the document:

                     (a)  a form of acknowledgment of service in accordance with the approved form; and

                     (b)  an envelope that:

                              (i)  is addressed to the address for service of the person on whose behalf the Application for Divorce is served; and

                             (ii)  if the Application for Divorce is to be sent to an address in Australia—bears the correct postage for the return by post of the acknowledgment of service.

2.44  Acknowledgment of service

             (1)  A person served with an Application for Divorce may acknowledge service of the Application for Divorce by an acknowledgment of service in accordance with the approved form.

             (2)  An acknowledgment of service may be signed by the person on whom the Application for Divorce is served or by the person’s lawyer.

             (3)  If a lawyer signs an acknowledgment of service, the filing of the acknowledgment is taken to be proof of service of the document to which the acknowledgment refers on the date on which service is acknowledged.

2.45  Affidavit of service

             (1)  Unless the court otherwise orders, any evidence of service of an Application for Divorce to be given (other than for acknowledgment of service) must be given by affidavit in accordance with the appropriate approved form.

             (2)  If the person making an affidavit of service can give evidence relating to the identity of the person served, the evidence may be included in the affidavit of service.

2.46  Evidence of service

             (1)  Subject to the court being satisfied that the identity of the person served is established, an acknowledgment of service of an Application for Divorce that is signed by the person served is evidence of service in accordance with the acknowledgment.

             (2)  If the server of an Application for Divorce can identify the person served, service may be proved by evidence to that effect by the server.

             (3)  If the server of an Application for Divorce can identify a photograph of the person served, and another person who knows the person served identifies the photograph as a photograph of the person served, service may be proved by evidence to that effect by the server and the other person.

             (4)  If a person other than the server of an Application for Divorce saw the Application for Divorce handed to, or put down in the presence of, the person served and can identify the person served, service may be proved by evidence to that effect given by that other person.

2.47  Evidence of signature and identity of person served

                   Evidence that the signature on an acknowledgment of service is the signature of the person required to be served may be given by an affidavit proving signature in accordance with the approved form.

Part 2.7Serving documents overseas

  

2.48  Serving documents in New Zealand

                   A person may serve a document on a person in New Zealand in accordance with the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 and Division 1.2.3 of these Rules.

2.49  Serving documents in all other countries

             (1)  A person may serve a document on a person in a country other than Australia or New Zealand:

                     (a)  if the country is a party to the Hague Service Convention—in accordance with Part IIAB of the Family Law Regulations; or

                     (b)  if the country is a party to another convention, that is in force for Australia, about legal proceedings in civil and commercial matters—in accordance with Part IIAC of the Family Law Regulations.

             (2)  A person may serve a document on a person in a non‑convention country:

                     (a)  in accordance with the law of the non‑convention country; or

                     (b)  if the non‑convention country permits service of judicial documents through the diplomatic channel—through the diplomatic channel.

             (3)  A person seeking to serve a document in a non‑convention country through the diplomatic channel must:

                     (a)  request the Registry Manager, in writing, to arrange service of the document under this Part; and

                     (b)  lodge 2 copies of each document to be served, translated, if necessary, into an official language of that country.

             (4)  If the Registry Manager receives a request under subrule (3), the Registry Manager must:

                     (a)  seal the documents to be served; and

                     (b)  send to the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

                              (i)  the sealed documents; and

                             (ii)  a written request that the documents be sent to the government of the non‑convention country for service.

             (5)  If:

                     (a)  a document is sent to the Secretary of the Attorney‑General’s Department for service on a person in a non‑convention country; and

                     (b)  an official certificate or declaration by the government or court of the country, stating that the document has been personally served, or served in another way under the law of the country, is sent to the court;

the certificate or declaration is proof of service of the document and, when filed, is a record of the service and has effect as if it were an affidavit of service.

Part 2.8Amending documents

  

2.50  Amendment by a party or court order

             (1)  A party who has filed an application or response may amend the application or response:

                     (a)  for an Initiating Application (Family Law):

                              (i)  at any time before the procedural hearing at which the proceeding is allocated a date or dates for trial; or

                             (ii)  at a later time, with the consent of the other parties or by order;

                     (b)  for an Application in a Proceeding:

                              (i)  at or before the first court date; or

                             (ii)  at any later time, with the consent of the other parties or by order; and

                     (c)  for all other applications—at any time, with the consent of the other parties or by order.

             (2)  A party who:

                     (a)  has filed an Initiating Application (Family Law) or a Response to an Initiating Application (Family Law); and

                     (b)  seeks to add or substitute another cause of action or another person as a party to the proceeding;

must amend the form in accordance with this Part.

             (3)  If a date is set for a further procedural hearing, the party amending the Initiating Application (Family Law) or Response to an Initiating Application (Family Law) under subrule (2) must give each other party written notice of the hearing.

2.51  Time limit for amendment

                   Unless the court otherwise orders, a party who has been given permission by the court to amend an application must do so within 7 days after the order is made.

Note:          The court may shorten or extend the time for compliance with a rule (see rule 15.06).

2.52  Amending a document

             (1)  To amend a document, a party must file a copy of the document:

                     (a)  with the amendment clearly marked; and

                     (b)  if the document is amended by order—endorsed with the date of the order and the date of the amendment.

             (2)  If the court gives permission for a party to amend a document, the permission is taken to be given by court order.

             (3)  An amendment may be made by:

                     (a)  placing a line through the text to be changed; and

                     (b)  underlining the new text or using a different typeface to indicate the new text.

             (4)  Amendment of a Financial Statement must comply with rule 6.06.

2.53  Response to amended document

                   If an amended document that has been served on a party affects a document (the affected document) previously filed by the party, the party may amend the affected document:

                     (a)  in accordance with rule 2.52; and

                     (b)  not more than 14 days after the amended document was served on the party.

2.54  Disallowance of amendment

                   The court may disallow an amendment of a document, including if the amendment is frivolous, vexatious or not in accordance with these Rules or an order.

Chapter 3Parties and representation

   

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 3

Part 3.1Necessary parties

  

3.01  Necessary parties

                   A person whose rights may be directly affected by an issue in a proceeding, and whose participation as a party is necessary for the court to determine all issues in dispute in the proceeding, must be included as a party to the proceeding.

Example:    If a party seeks an order of a kind referred to in section 90AE or 90AF of the Family Law Act, a third party who will be bound by the order must be joined as a respondent to the proceeding.

3.02  Necessary parties to applications for parenting orders

             (1)  If an application is made for a parenting order in relation to a child, the following must be parties to the proceeding:

                     (a)  the parents of the child;

                     (b)  any other person in whose favour a parenting order is currently in force in relation to the child;

                     (c)  any other person with whom the child lives and who is responsible for the care, welfare and development of the child;

                     (d)  if a State child order is currently in place in relation to the child—the prescribed child welfare authority.

             (2)  If a person referred to in subrule (1) is not an applicant in a proceeding involving the child, the person must be joined as a respondent to the application.

Part 3.2Adding and removing a party

  

3.03  Adding a party

             (1)  A party to a proceeding may include any person as a party by:

                     (a)  naming the person as a party in the application, response or reply; and

                     (b)  serving on the person a copy of the application, response or reply and all other relevant documents filed in the proceeding.

             (2)  A party may add another party after a proceeding has started by amending the application or response to add the name of the party.

             (3)  A party who relies on subrule (2) must:

                     (a)  file an affidavit setting out the facts relied on to support the addition of the new party, including a statement of the new party’s relationship (if any) to the other parties; and

                     (b)  serve on the new party:

                              (i)  a copy of the application, amended application, response or amended response; and

                             (ii)  the affidavit referred to in paragraph (a); and

                            (iii)  any other relevant document filed in the proceeding; and

                     (c)  serve on the other parties:

                              (i)  a copy of the application, amended application, response or amended response; and

                             (ii)  the affidavit referred to in paragraph (a).

             (4)  A party may only add another party after the first court date with the leave of the court.

             (5)  A party who relies on subrule (4) must:

                     (a)  file:

                              (i)  an Application in a Proceeding; and

                             (ii)  an affidavit setting out the facts relied on to support the addition of the proposed new party, including a statement of the proposed new party’s relationship (if any) to the other parties; and

                     (b)  serve on the proposed new party:

                              (i)  a copy of the Application in a Proceeding; and

                             (ii)  the affidavit referred to in subparagraph (a)(ii); and

                            (iii)  any other relevant document filed in the proceeding; and

                     (c)  serve on the other parties:

                              (i)  a copy of the Application in a Proceeding; and

                             (ii)  the affidavit referred to in subparagraph (a)(ii).

3.04  Person may apply to be included

             (1)  A person may apply to the court to be included as a party to a proceeding by filing an Application in a Proceeding.

             (2)  Unless the court otherwise orders, the application must be supported by an affidavit stating:

                     (a)  the person’s interest in the proceeding or any matter in dispute between the person and a party to the proceeding; and

                     (b)  the orders (if any) that the person will seek if included as a party.

             (3)  The person must serve a copy of the application and affidavit on each party to the proceeding.

             (4)  An order for inclusion of the party may be on limited terms.

Note:          Part IX of the Family Law Act deals with intervention in a proceeding. If a person has, by order or under rule 3.07 of these Rules, intervened in a proceeding, the person becomes a party with all the rights and obligations of a party (see subsections 91(2) and 91A(4), paragraph 91B(2)(b) and subsections 92(3) and 92A(3) of the Family Law Act).

3.05  Party may apply to be removed

             (1)  A party to a proceeding may apply to the court to be removed as a party by filing an Application in a Proceeding.

             (2)  The party must file an affidavit stating:

                     (a)  the relationship (if any) of the applicant to each other party; and

                     (b)  the evidence in support of the application.

             (3)  The party must serve a copy of the application and affidavit on each other party to the proceeding.

3.06  Court may order notice to be given

                   The court may at any time order a party, or a person applying to be included as a party, to notify any other person of:

                     (a)  the proceeding; or

                     (b)  the application of the person to be included as a party.

3.07  Intervention by a person entitled to intervene

             (1)  This rule applies if either of the following intervenes in a proceeding:

                     (a)  the Attorney‑General;

                     (b)  any other person who is entitled under the Family Law Act to intervene in the proceeding without the court’s permission.

             (2)  The person intervening must file:

                     (a)  a Notice of Intervention by Person Entitled to Intervene; and

                     (b)  an affidavit:

                              (i)  stating the facts relied on in support of the intervention; and

                             (ii)  attaching a schedule setting out the orders sought.

Note:          The following are examples of when a person is entitled under the Family Law Act to intervene in a proceeding without the court’s permission:

(a)    subsection 79(10) authorises a creditor of a party to a proceeding who may not be able to recover a debt if an order is made under section 79, and a person whose interests would be affected by an order under section 79, to become a party to the proceeding;

(b)    subsection 90SM(10) authorises a creditor of a party to a proceeding who would not be able to recover a debt if an order is made under section 90SM of the Family Law Act, a party to a de facto relationship or marriage with a party to a proceeding, a party to certain financial agreements and a person whose interests would be affected by the making of an order to become parties to the proceeding;

(c)    section 91 of the Family Law Act and section 78A of the Judiciary Act 1903 authorise the Attorney‑General to intervene in a proceeding;

(d)    section 92A of the Family Law Act authorises the persons referred to in subsection 92A(2) of that Act to intervene in a proceeding without the court’s permission;

(e)    section 145 of the Assessment Act authorises the Child Support Registrar to intervene in a proceeding.

             (3)  On the filing of a Notice of Intervention by Person Entitled to Intervene, the Registry Manager must fix a date for a procedural hearing.

             (4)  The person intervening must give each other party written notice of the procedural hearing.

Part 3.3Legal representation

  

3.08  Right to be heard and representation

             (1)  A person (other than a corporation or authority) who is entitled to be heard in a proceeding may conduct the proceeding on the person’s own behalf or be represented by a lawyer.

Note:          For the right of a lawyer to appear in a court exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act, see Part VIIIA of the Judiciary Act 1903. See also sections 57 and 175 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act.

             (2)  Subject to section 57 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Act, a party is not entitled to be represented by a person who is not a lawyer unless the court otherwise orders. The court will give permission for representation by a person other than a lawyer only in special circumstances.

3.09  Corporation must be represented

                   Except as provided by or under an Act or regulations made under an Act, or with the leave of the court, a corporation must not start or carry on a proceeding otherwise than by a lawyer.

3.10  Lawyer—ceasing to act

             (1)  A lawyer may cease to act for a party:

                     (a)  by:

                              (i)  serving on the party a Notice of Ceasing to Act and a blank Notice of Address for Service; and

                             (ii)  no sooner than 7 days after serving the notices, filing a copy of the Notice of Ceasing to Act; or

                     (b)  with the court’s permission.

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a party’s address for service is the party’s lawyer’s address; and

                     (b)  the lawyer ceases to act for the party;

then, until the party files a Notice of Address for Service, the party’s address for service is:

                     (c)  the party’s last known email address; and

                     (d)  the party’s last known residential address, unless disclosing this address would compromise the party’s safety.

             (3)  If, in a parenting proceeding, a lawyer ceasing to act for a party does not disclose the party’s last known residential address to another party or parties, the lawyer must provide the address to the court by email and the address must not be disclosed other than in accordance with an order of the court.

Part 3.4Independent children’s lawyer

  

3.11  Independent children’s lawyer

             (1)  A party may apply for the appointment or removal of an independent children’s lawyer by filing an Application in a Proceeding.

             (2)  If the court makes an order for the appointment of an independent children’s lawyer, the court may:

                     (a)  request that the representation be arranged by a legal aid body; and

                     (b)  order that the costs of the independent children’s lawyer be met by one or more of the parties.

             (3)  A person appointed as an independent children’s lawyer:

                     (a)  must file a Notice of Address for Service; and

                     (b)  must comply with these Rules and do anything required to be done by a party; and

                     (c)  may do anything permitted by these Rules to be done by a party.

             (4)  If an independent children’s lawyer is appointed, the parties must conduct the proceeding as if the independent children’s lawyer were a party.

             (5)  The appointment of an independent children’s lawyer ceases:

                     (a)  when the Initiating Application (Family Law) is determined or withdrawn; or

                     (b)  if there is an appeal—when the appeal is determined or withdrawn; or

                     (c)  as otherwise ordered.

Note 1:       Section 68L of the Family Law Act provides for the independent representation of children.

Note 2:       The duty of disclosure applies to an independent children’s lawyer (see rule 6.01).

Note 3:       If a document or notice is served on or given to a party under these Rules, the document or notice must also be served on any independent children’s lawyer (see paragraph 2.27(3)(b)).

Part 3.5Litigation guardians

  

3.12  Person who needs a litigation guardian

             (1)  For these Rules, a person needs a litigation guardian in relation to a proceeding if the person:

                     (a)  does not understand the nature and possible consequences of the proceeding; or

                     (b)  is not capable of adequately conducting, or giving adequate instruction for the conduct of, the proceeding.

             (2)  Unless the court otherwise orders, a minor in a proceeding is taken to need a litigation guardian in relation to the proceeding.

3.13  Starting, continuing, defending or inclusion in proceeding

             (1)  A person who needs a litigation guardian may start, continue, respond to or seek to be included as a party to a proceeding only by the person’s litigation guardian.

             (2)  The litigation guardian of a party to a proceeding:

                     (a)  must do anything required by these Rules to be done by the party; and

                     (b)  may, for the benefit of the party, do anything permitted by these Rules to be done by the party.

Note 1:       A person may apply for an interlocutory order to be appointed as a litigation guardian in relation to a prospective proceeding (see rule 5.02(2)(b)).

Note 2:       Rule 6.01(3) applies the duty of disclosure to a litigation guardian appointed under this Part.

Note 3:       Rule 10.04(3) requires a litigation guardian seeking a consent order to file an affidavit setting out the facts relied on to satisfy the court that the order is in the party’s best interests.

3.14  Who may be a litigation guardian

                   A person may be a litigation guardian in a proceeding if the person:

                     (a)  is an adult; and

                     (b)  has no interest in the proceeding adverse to the interest of the person needing the litigation guardian; and

                     (c)  can fairly and competently conduct the proceeding for the person needing the litigation guardian.

3.15  Appointment of litigation guardian

             (1)  A person may apply for the appointment, replacement or removal of a person as the litigation guardian of a party.

             (2)  The court may, at the request of a party or on its own initiative, appoint or remove a litigation guardian, or substitute another person as litigation guardian, in a proceeding in the interests of a person who needs a litigation guardian.

             (3)  A person becomes a litigation guardian if the person consents to the appointment by filing an affidavit of consent in the proceeding.

             (4)  The court may remove a litigation guardian at the request of the litigation guardian.

3.16  Manager of the affairs of a party

             (1)  In this rule:

manager of the affairs of a party includes a person who is authorised by or under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law to conduct legal proceedings in the name of, or for, a person who needs a litigation guardian.

             (2)  A person who is a manager of the affairs of a party is entitled to be the litigation guardian in any proceeding to which the person’s authority extends.

             (3)  If, in the opinion of the court, a suitable person is not available for appointment as a litigation guardian for a person who needs a litigation guardian, the court may request that the Attorney‑General appoint a person to be a manager of the affairs of the party.

             (4)  The Attorney‑General may appoint, in writing, a person to be a manager of the affairs of a party for the purposes of this rule, either generally or for a particular person.

             (5)  A manager of the affairs of a party becomes the litigation guardian of a person who needs a litigation guardian in a proceeding if the manager of the affairs of the party files an affidavit of consent in relation to the person.

3.17  Notice of becoming litigation guardian

                   A person appointed as the litigation guardian of a party to a proceeding must, as soon as practicable after the appointment, give notice of the appointment to each other party and any independent children’s lawyer in the proceeding.

3.18  Costs and expenses of litigation guardian

                   The court may make orders for the payment of the costs and expenses of a litigation guardian (including the costs of an application for the appointment of the litigation guardian):

                     (a)  by a party; or

                     (b)  from the income or assets of the person for whom the litigation guardian is appointed.

Part 3.6Death or bankruptcy of a party

Division 3.6.1Death of party

3.19  Death of party

             (1)  This rule applies to a property proceeding or an application for the enforcement of a financial obligation.

             (2)  If a party dies, the other party or the legal personal representative of the deceased person must ask the court for procedural orders in relation to the future conduct of the proceeding.

             (3)  The court may order that the legal personal representative of the deceased person be substituted for the deceased person as a party.

Note 1:       The court may make other procedural orders, including that a person has permission to intervene in the proceeding (see rules 1.31 and 3.04).

Note 2:       For the effect of the death of a party in certain proceedings, see subsections 79(1A), 79(8), 79A(1C), 90SM(2), 90SM(8), 90SN(5), 90UM(8) and 105(3) of the Family Law Act.

Division 3.6.2Bankruptcy or insolvency of party

3.20  Definitions for Division 3.6.2

                   In this Division:

bankruptcy proceedings means proceedings under the Bankruptcy Act, in the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit and Family Court (Division 2), in relation to:

                     (a)  the bankruptcy of a relevant party; or

                     (b)  a relevant party’s capacity as a debtor subject to a personal insolvency agreement.

relevant party means a person who is:

                     (a)  a party to a marriage or de facto relationship; or

                     (b)  a party to a relevant proceeding in relation to that marriage or de facto relationship.

relevant proceeding means any of the following:

                     (a)  a pending proceeding under section 66G, 66S, 74, 78, 79, 79A, 83, 90SE, 90SL, 90SM or 90SN of the Family Law Act;

                     (b)  a pending proceeding under Division 4 or 5 of Part 7 of the Assessment Act;

                     (c)  a pending proceeding for enforcement of an order made under a provision referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

Note:          The following terms are defined in the Family Law Act:

(a)    bankruptcy trustee (see subsection 4(1));

(b)    debtor subject to a personal insolvency agreement (see section 5);

(c)    trustee, in relation to a personal insolvency agreement (see subsection 4(1)).

3.21  Notice of bankruptcy or personal insolvency agreement

             (1)  If a relevant party is also a bankrupt or a debtor subject to a personal insolvency agreement, that party must notify:

                     (a)  all other parties to the relevant proceeding, in writing, about the bankruptcy or personal insolvency agreement; and

                     (b)  the bankruptcy trustee or the trustee of the personal insolvency agreement, as the case may be, about the relevant proceeding in accordance with rule 3.22; and

                     (c)  the court in which the relevant proceeding is pending, in accordance with rule 3.23.

             (2)  A party may apply for procedural orders for the future conduct of the proceeding.

3.22  Notice under paragraph 3.21(1)(b)

                   For the purposes of paragraph 3.21(1)(b), notice to a bankruptcy trustee or a trustee of a personal insolvency agreement must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be given within 7 days, or as soon as practicable, after the date on which the party becomes both:

                              (i)  a relevant party; and

                             (ii)  a bankrupt or debtor; and

                     (c)  attach a copy of the application starting the relevant proceeding, response (if any), and any other relevant documents; and

                     (d)  state the date and place of the next court event in the relevant proceeding.

3.23  Notice under paragraph 3.21(1)(c)

                   For the purposes of paragraph 3.21(1)(c), notice to the court must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be given within 7 days, or as soon as practicable, after the date on which the party becomes both:

                              (i)  a relevant party; and

                             (ii)  a bankrupt or debtor; and

                     (c)  attach a copy of the notices given in accordance with paragraphs 3.21(1)(a) and (b).

3.24  Notice of bankruptcy proceedings

             (1)  If a relevant party is a party to bankruptcy proceedings, the party must give notice of the bankruptcy proceedings, in accordance with subrule (2), to:

                     (a)  the court in which the relevant proceeding is pending; and

                     (b)  the other party (or parties) to the proceeding.

             (2)  The notice must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be given within 7 days, or as soon as practicable, after the date on which the party becomes a party to bankruptcy proceedings; and

                     (c)  state the date and place of the next court event in the bankruptcy proceedings.

3.25  Notice of application under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act

             (1)  If the bankruptcy trustee of a bankrupt party to a marriage or de facto relationship has applied under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act for an order under Division 4A of Part VI of that Act, and the trustee knows that a relevant proceeding in relation to the bankrupt party is pending in a court exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act, the trustee must notify:

                     (a)  the court exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act in the relevant proceeding, in accordance with subrule (2); and

                     (b)  if the bankruptcy trustee’s application relates to an entity other than the other party to the marriage or de facto relationship—the other party to the marriage or de facto relationship, in accordance with subrule (3).

             (2)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), notice to the court must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be given within 7 days, or as soon as practicable, after the bankruptcy trustee makes the application under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act; and

                     (c)  state the date and place of the next court event in the proceedings under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act.

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), notice to the other party to the marriage or de facto relationship must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be given within 7 days, or as soon as practicable, after the bankruptcy trustee makes the application under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act; and

                     (c)  attach a copy of the application, other initiating process and any other relevant documents in the application under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act; and

                     (d)  state the date and place of the next court event in the proceedings under section 139A of the Bankruptcy Act.

3.26  Official name of trustee

             (1)  If a bankruptcy trustee or a trustee of a personal insolvency agreement is added as a party to a relevant proceeding, the trustee must be added using the prescribed official name of the trustee.

             (2)  In subrule (1):

prescribed official name of the trustee has the meaning given by:

                     (a)  for a bankruptcy trustee—subsection 161(2) of the Bankruptcy Act; or

                     (b)  for a trustee of a personal insolvency agreement—subsection 219(2) of the Bankruptcy Act.

Chapter 4Dispute resolution

   

  

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 4

Part 4.1Requirements before applying for orders

  

4.01  Compliance with pre‑action procedures

             (1)  Subject to subrules (2) and (3), before starting a proceeding, each prospective party to the proceeding must comply with the pre‑action procedures.

Note:          The pre‑action procedures are set out in Schedule 1.

             (2)  Compliance with subrule (1) is not necessary if:

                     (a)  the proceeding is an application for divorce only; or

                     (b)  the proceeding is an application relating to nullity or validity of marriage only; or

                     (c)  the proceeding is a child support application or appeal; or

                     (d)  the proceeding involves a court’s jurisdiction in bankruptcy under section 35 or 35B of the Bankruptcy Act; or

                     (e)  the court is satisfied that, in the circumstances, it was not appropriate for a party to comply with the pre‑action procedures.

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(e), circumstances include the following:

                     (a)  for a parenting proceeding—the proceeding involves allegations of child abuse or family violence, or of a risk of child abuse or family violence;

                     (b)  for a property proceeding—the proceeding involves allegations of family violence, or of a risk of family violence;

                     (c)  the application is urgent;

                     (d)  the applicant would be unduly prejudiced;

                     (e)  there has been a previous application in the same cause of action in the 12 months immediately before the start of the proceeding.

             (4)  A person who starts a proceeding by making an application for final orders, or a respondent to an application for final orders, must indicate in the Genuine Steps Certificate filed with the application or response either:

                     (a)  that the person has complied with the pre‑action procedures; or

                     (b)  the factual basis on which the court should be satisfied that it was not appropriate for the person to comply with the required pre‑action procedures.

             (5)  A person who is legally represented must comply with subrule (4) through the person’s legal representative.

Note 1:       The court publishes a brochure setting out the pre‑action procedures for financial proceedings and parenting proceedings.

Note 2:       Subsections 60I(7) to (12) of the Family Law Act provide for attendance at family dispute resolution before applying for a parenting order in relation to a child.

4.02  Requirement to file family dispute resolution certificate with application for a parenting order

             (1)  A person who starts a proceeding by making an application for an order under Part VII of the Family Law Act, such as a parenting order, must file with the application:

                     (a)  a certificate given to the applicant by a family dispute resolution practitioner under subsection 60I(8) of the Family Law Act; or

                     (b)  if no certificate is required because paragraphs 60I(9)(b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) of the Family Law Act applies—an affidavit in a form approved by the Chief Executive Officer unless another affidavit filed in the proceedings sets out the factual basis of the exception claimed.

             (2)  An applicant in proceedings referred to in subsection 100(1) of the Assessment Act or subsection 105(1) of the Registration Act is not required to file in the court a certificate given to the applicant by a family dispute resolution practitioner under subsection 60I(8) of the Family Law Act.

4.03  Requirements before seeking an interlocutory order

             (1)  Before filing an application seeking an interlocutory order, a party must make a reasonable and genuine attempt to settle the issue to which the application relates.

             (2)  Compliance with subrule (1) is not necessary if:

                     (a)  compliance will cause undue delay or expense; or

                     (b)  the application would be unduly prejudiced; or

                     (c)  the application is urgent; or

                     (d)  there are circumstances in which an application is necessary (for example, if there is an allegation of child abuse, family violence or fraud).

             (3)  A person who makes an application for an interlocutory order must indicate, in the affidavit filed with the application, either:

                     (a)  that the person has made a reasonable and genuine attempt to settle the issue to which the application relates; or

                     (b)  which exception in subrule (2) applies to the application and the factual basis for the exception claimed.

             (4)  A person who is legally represented must comply with subrule (3) through the person’s legal representative.

4.04  Consequences of failure to comply with rules 4.01 to 4.03

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  a person makes an application for a final order without complying with the pre‑action procedures; and

                     (b)  the court considers that no exception in subrule 4.01(2) applied to the application;

the court may stay the application, on its own initiative or on the application of the respondent, until the applicant complies with the pre‑action procedures.

             (2)  The court may take into account a party’s failure to comply with rule 4.01, 4.02 or 4.03 when considering whether to make an order as to costs.

             (3)  The court may take into account the involvement of a legal practitioner in a party’s failure to comply with rule 4.01, 4.02 or 4.03 when considering whether to make an order as to costs.

Note:          Rules 12.15‑12.16 relate to the making of costs orders against lawyers.

4.05  Court’s powers to require attendance at dispute resolution event

                   In the exercise of its general powers of case management to achieve the overarching purpose of these Rules, the court may order a party to attend:

                     (a)  a family consultant; or

                     (b)  family counselling or family dispute resolution; or

                     (c)  another dispute resolution event as permitted by the Family Law Act.

Part 4.2Offers to settle a proceeding

Division 4.2.1General

4.06  How to make an offer

             (1)  A party may make an offer to another party to settle all or part of a proceeding by serving on the other party an offer to settle at any time before the court makes an order disposing of the proceeding.

Note:          See also paragraph 117(2A)(f) and section 117C of the Family Law Act in relation to offers to settle.

             (2)  A party may make an offer to settle all or part of an appeal by serving on the other party an offer to settle at any time before the court makes an order disposing of the appeal.

             (3)  An offer to settle:

                     (a)  must be in writing; and

                     (b)  must not be filed.

Note:          A later offer to settle has the effect of withdrawing an earlier offer (see subrule 4.08(3)).

4.07  Open and without prejudice offers

             (1)  An offer to settle is made without prejudice (a without prejudice offer) unless the offer states that it is an open offer.

             (2)  A party must not mention the fact that a without prejudice offer has been made, or the terms of the offer:

                     (a)  in any document filed; or

                     (b)  at a hearing or trial.

             (3)  If a party makes an open offer, any party may disclose the facts and terms of the offer to other parties and the court.

             (4)  Subrule (2) does not apply to:

                     (a)  an application relating to an offer; or

                     (b)  an application for costs.

4.08  How to withdraw an offer

             (1)  A party may withdraw an offer to settle by serving a written notice on the other party that the offer is withdrawn.

             (2)  A party may withdraw an offer to settle at any time before:

                     (a)  the offer is accepted; or

                     (b)  the court makes an order disposing of the application or appeal to which the offer relates.

             (3)  A second or later offer by a party has the effect of withdrawing an earlier offer.

4.09  How to accept an offer

             (1)  A party may accept an offer to settle by notice, in writing, to the party making the offer.

             (2)  A party may accept an offer to settle at any time before:

                     (a)  the offer is withdrawn; or

                     (b)  the court makes an order disposing of the application or appeal.

             (3)  If an offer to settle is accepted, the parties must lodge a draft consent order.

Note 1:       The draft consent order should set out the orders agreed to by the parties and must be signed by both parties (see rule 10.04). Once lodged, it will be considered by the court under rule 10.07. The parties may agree to the dismissal of all applications.

Note 2:       Subrule 10.04(3) requires that, if a litigation guardian seeks a consent order (other than an order relating to practice or procedure), the litigation guardian must file an affidavit setting out the facts relied on to satisfy the court that the order is in the party’s best interests, and any other matter the court may require.

4.10  Counter‑offer

                   A party may accept an offer to settle even though the party has made a counter‑offer to settle.

Division 4.2.2Offers in property proceedings

4.11  Compulsory offer to settle

             (1)  This rule applies to a property proceeding.

             (2)  Each party must make a genuine offer to settle to all other parties within:

                     (a)  28 days after a conciliation conference or mediation; or

                     (b)  if no conciliation conference or mediation has been held or is to be held—28 days after the first court date; or

                     (c)  such further time as ordered by the court.

             (3)  The offer to settle must state that it is made under this Division.

Example:    The offer to settle must include a statement along the following lines:

                   This offer to settle is made under Division 4.2.2 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021.

Note 1:       An offer to settle is a factor that must be taken into account when the court exercises its discretion in relation to costs (see paragraph 117(2A)(f) of the Family Law Act).

Note 2:       Rule 1.33 sets out the consequences of failing to comply with these Rules.

4.12  Withdrawal of offer

                   A party who withdraws an offer to settle made under this Division must, at the same time, make another genuine offer to settle.

Chapter 5Interlocutory orders

   

  

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 5

Part 5.1General

  

5.01  Effect of final orders on interlocutory orders

                   On the making of final orders in a proceeding, any interlocutory order made in the proceeding pending further order is automatically discharged and ceases to have continuing effect.

5.02  Restrictions on applications for interlocutory orders

             (1)  Subject to subrule (2), a party may apply for an interlocutory order in a proceeding.

             (2)  A person may apply for an interlocutory order only if the order sought relates to a current proceeding, unless the person is seeking:

                     (a)  permission to start a proceeding or extend a time limit to start a proceeding; or

                     (b)  to be appointed as a litigation guardian for a person under rule 3.15; or

                     (c)  an order for costs.

             (3)  This rule does not apply to restrict the filing of an Application in a Proceeding by:

                     (a)  an independent children’s lawyer; or

                     (b)  the Director of Public Prosecutions, when making an application under section 79C, 79D, 90N, 90P, 90VB or 90VC of the Family Law Act, to stay or lift a stay of a property settlement or spousal or de facto maintenance proceeding; or

                     (c)  a bankruptcy trustee; or

                     (d)  a trustee of a personal insolvency agreement.

             (4)  This rule does not apply to restrict the filing of an application for an order in relation to an arbitration by a party to the arbitration or an arbitrator conducting the arbitration.

Note 1:       Unless an exception applies, a party must make a reasonable and genuine attempt to settle the issue to which an interlocutory application relates, before filing the application (see rule 4.03).

Note 2:       An application for an interlocutory order must be made using the form required by rule 2.01.

5.03  Time for applications seeking parenting orders for end‑of‑year school holiday period

             (1)  This rule applies to an application for an interim parenting order relating in whole or part to the school holiday period beginning in December in a year (the application year) and extending to January in the following year.

             (2)  The application must be filed before 4 pm on the second Friday in November of the application year.

Note:          Except in cases of urgency (where the usual criteria for an urgent hearing will apply), an application filed after the deadline under subrule (2) will be allocated the next available hearing date in the usual way. That date may be after Christmas. In other words, if the deadline has passed, the fact that an application relates to the school holiday period will not of itself justify a listing before Christmas. In urgent cases, applications to abridge times and to list a matter on short notice may be made to the registry.

5.04  Supporting affidavit to be filed with application

             (1)  A party who applies for one or more interlocutory orders must, at the same time, file and serve an affidavit stating the facts relied on in support of the orders sought.

             (2)  Subrule (1) does not apply to an application for review of an order of a Judicial Registrar.

5.05  Responding to an Application in a Proceeding

             (1)  A respondent to an Application in a Proceeding who seeks to oppose the application, or seeks different orders, must file and serve a Response to an Application in a Proceeding.

             (2)  A respondent who files and serves a Response to an Application in a Proceeding must, at the same time, file and serve an affidavit stating the facts relied on in support of the Response.

Note:          A Response to an Application in a Proceeding must be filed and served within 28 days after service of the application to which it relates (see subrule 2.18(2)).

5.06  When affidavit in reply to a response may be filed

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  a respondent files and serves a Response to an Application in a Proceeding seeking orders in a cause of action not referred to in the Application in a Proceeding; and

                     (b)  the applicant opposes the orders sought in the Response to an Application in a Proceeding;

the applicant may file and serve an affidavit in reply setting out the facts relied on.

             (2)  In this rule:

cause of action includes a claim seeking an order for interlocutory relief.

5.07  Time for filing affidavits

                   Each affidavit in support of or in opposition to an interlocutory application must be filed and served at least 2 business days before the date fixed for the hearing.

5.08  Limit on number and length of affidavits

             (1)  The following affidavits may be relied on as evidence in chief at the hearing of an application for interlocutory orders:

                     (a)  subject to rule 5.06, one affidavit by each party;

                     (b)  one affidavit by each witness, provided the evidence is relevant and cannot be given by a party.

             (2)  Unless express leave is granted by the court, an affidavit filed and served in support of or in opposition to an application for interlocutory orders must not exceed 25 pages.

             (3)  Unless express leave is granted by the court, an affidavit filed and served in support of or in opposition to an application for interlocutory orders must not contain more than 10 annexures.

5.09  Duration of hearing of interlocutory application

             (1)  Unless the court directs otherwise, the hearing of an application for interlocutory orders must be no longer than 2 hours.

             (2)  Cross‑examination will be allowed at a hearing only in exceptional circumstances.

5.10  Administrative postponement of interlocutory hearing

             (1)  If the parties agree that the hearing of an application for interlocutory orders should not proceed on the date fixed for the hearing, the parties may request the Registry Manager to postpone it.

             (2)  A request must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  specify why it is appropriate to postpone the hearing; and

                     (c)  specify the date to which the hearing is sought to be postponed; and

                     (d)  be signed by each party or the party’s lawyer; and

                     (e)  be received by the Registry Manager no later than 12 noon on the day before the date fixed for the hearing.

             (3)  If a request is made, the Registry Manager must tell the parties:

                     (a)  whether the hearing has been postponed; and

                     (b)  if applicable, the date to which the hearing has been postponed.

Part 5.2Applications without notice

  

5.11  Applications without notice

                   An applicant seeking that an interlocutory order be made without notice to the respondent must:

                     (a)  satisfy the court about why:

                              (i)  shortening the time for service of the application and the fixing of an early date for hearing after service would not be more appropriate; and

                             (ii)  an order should be made without notice to the other party; and

                     (b)  in an affidavit or orally, with the court’s permission, make full and frank disclosure of all the facts relevant to the application, including the following:

                              (i)  whether there is a history or allegation of child abuse or family violence between the parties;

                             (ii)  whether there have been any previous proceedings between the parties and, if so, the nature of the proceedings;

                            (iii)  the particulars of any orders currently in force between the parties;

                            (iv)  whether there has been a breach of a previous order by either party to the proceeding;

                             (v)  whether the respondent or the respondent’s lawyer has been told of the intention to make the application;

                            (vi)  whether there is likely to be any hardship, danger or prejudice to the respondent, a child or a third party if the order is made;

                           (vii)  the capacity of the applicant to give an undertaking as to damages;

                          (viii)  the nature of the damage or harm that may result if the order is not made;

                            (ix)  why the order must be urgently made;

                             (x)  the last known address or address for service of the other party.

5.12  Necessary procedural orders

                   If the court makes an order on application without notice, the order must be expressed to operate:

                     (a)  until a time specified in the order; or

                     (b)  if the hearing of the application is adjourned—until the date of the hearing.

Part 5.3Hearing on papers in absence of parties without oral hearing

  

5.13  Decisions in the absence of the parties without an oral hearing

                   The court may determine an application for an interlocutory order in the absence of the parties without an oral hearing if:

                     (a)  the parties to the application consent to the making of the decision in their absence without an oral hearing; and

                     (b)  the court considers it appropriate to make the decision in the absence of the parties without an oral hearing.

Note:          This Part also applies to an application in relation to an appeal (see rule 13.38).

5.14  Court decision to require attendance

                   Despite parties consenting to a hearing being held in their absence without an oral hearing, the court may:

                     (a)  postpone or adjourn the application; and

                     (b)  fix a new date for hearing the application; and

                     (c)  require the parties to attend court for the hearing.

5.15  Procedure for hearing in absence of parties without an oral hearing

             (1)  If an application is to be determined in the absence of the parties without an oral hearing, each party must file and serve, at least 2 days before the date fixed for hearing the application:

                     (a)  a list of documents to be read by the court; and

                     (b)  a supporting submission.

             (2)  A supporting submission must:

                     (a)  state the reasons why the orders sought by that party should be made; and

                     (b)  refer to any material in a document filed and served with the application by the page number of the document, and not repeat the text of that material; and

                     (c)  not be more than 5 pages; and

                     (d)  have all paragraphs consecutively numbered; and

                     (e)  be signed by the party or the lawyer who prepared the submission; and

                      (f)  include the signatory’s name and email address and telephone number at which the signatory can be contacted.

Part 5.4Applications in relation to property

Division 5.4.1Orders for inspection, etc, of property

5.16  Orders about property

             (1)  The court may make an order for the inspection, detention, possession, valuation, insurance or preservation of property if:

                     (a)  the order relates to the property of a party, or a question may arise about the property in a proceeding; and

                     (b)  the order is necessary to allow the proper determination of a proceeding.

             (2)  The court may order a party:

                     (a)  to sell or otherwise dispose of property that will deteriorate, decay or spoil; and

                     (b)  to deal with the proceeds of the sale or disposal in a certain way.

             (3)  A party may ask the court to make an order in relation to property authorising a person:

                     (a)  to enter, or do another thing to gain entry or access to, the property; or

                     (b)  to make observations, and take photographs, of the property; or

                     (c)  to observe or read images or information contained in the property including, for example, playing a tape, film or disk, or accessing computer files; or

                     (d)  to copy the property or information contained in the property.

             (4)  If the court makes an order under this rule, it may also order a party to pay the costs of a person who is not a party to the proceeding and who must comply with the order.

             (5)  The court may make an order under subrule (1) binding on, or otherwise affecting, a person who is not a party to a proceeding.

5.17  Service of application

             (1)  A party who has applied for an order under rule 5.16 must:

                     (a)  make a reasonable attempt to find out who has, or claims to have, an interest in the property to which the application relates; and

                     (b)  serve the application and any supporting affidavits on that person.

             (2)  The court may allow an application for an order under this Division to be made without notice.

5.18  Inspection by court

                   A party may apply for an order that the court inspect a place, process or thing, or witness a demonstration, about a question that arises in a proceeding.

Division 5.4.2Search orders

5.19  Application for search order

             (1)  A party may apply for an order (in this Division called a search order):

                     (a)  requiring a respondent to permit the applicant, alone or with another person, to enter the respondent’s premises and do either or both of the following:

                              (i)  inspect or seize documents or other property;

                             (ii)  take copies of documents; and

                     (b)  requiring the respondent to disclose specific information relevant to the proceeding; and

                     (c)  restraining the respondent, for a specified period of no more than 7 days, from informing anyone else (other than the respondent’s lawyer) that the order has been made.

             (2)  The applicant may apply for a search order without notice to the respondent.

             (3)  An application for a search order must be supported by an affidavit that includes the following:

                     (a)  a description of the document or property to be seized or inspected;

                     (b)  the address of the premises where the order is to be carried out;

                     (c)  the reason the applicant believes the respondent may remove, destroy or alter the document or property unless the order is made;

                     (d)  a statement about the damage the applicant is likely to suffer if the order is not made;

                     (e)  a statement about the value of the property to be seized;

                      (f)  the name of the person (if any) who the applicant wishes to accompany the applicant to the respondent’s premises if permission is granted;

                     (g)  the consent of one or more lawyers to act as independent lawyers for the purposes of rule 5.21;

                     (h)  the fees proposed to be charged by the independent lawyers.

             (4)  If a search order is made, the applicant must serve a copy of it on the respondent when the order is acted on.

5.20  Requirements for grant of search order

                   The court may make a search order if the court is satisfied that:

                     (a)  an applicant seeking the order has a strong prima facie case on an application for final orders; and

                     (b)  the potential or actual loss and damage to the applicant will be serious if the search order is not made; and

                     (c)  there is sufficient evidence in relation to a respondent that:

                              (i)  the respondent possesses important evidentiary material; and

                             (ii)  there is a real possibility that the respondent might destroy such material or cause it to be unavailable for use in evidence in a proceeding or anticipated proceeding before the court.

5.21  Independent lawyers

             (1)  If the court makes a search order, the court must appoint one or more lawyers (the independent lawyers), each of whom is independent of the applicant’s lawyer:

                     (a)  to supervise the execution of the order; and

                     (b)  to do any other acts or things in relation to the order that the court considers appropriate.

             (2)  The court may appoint an independent lawyer to supervise execution of the order at any one or more premises, and a different independent lawyer or lawyers to supervise execution of the order at other premises, with each independent lawyer having power to do any other acts or things in relation to the order that the court considers appropriate.

5.22  Costs

             (1)  The court may make any order for costs that it considers appropriate in relation to an order made under this Division.

             (2)  Without limiting subrule (1), an order for costs includes:

                     (a)  an order for the costs of any person affected by a search order; and

                     (b)  an order for the costs of any independent lawyer.

Division 5.4.3Freezing orders

5.23  Application for freezing order

             (1)  A party may apply for an order (in this Division called a freezing order) restraining another person from removing property from Australia, or dealing with property in or outside Australia, if:

                     (a)  the order will be incidental to an existing or prospective order made in favour of the applicant; or

                     (b)  the applicant has an existing or prospective claim that is able to be decided in Australia.

             (2)  The applicant may apply for a freezing order without notice to the respondent.

             (3)  An application for a freezing order must be supported by an affidavit that includes the following:

                     (a)  a description of the nature and value of the respondent’s property, so far as it is known to the applicant, in and outside Australia;

                     (b)  the reason why the applicant believes:

                              (i)  property of the respondent may be removed from Australia or may be dealt with in or outside Australia; and

                             (ii)  removing or dealing with the property should be restrained by order;

                     (c)  a statement about the damage the applicant is likely to suffer if the order is not made;

                     (d)  a statement about the identity of anyone, other than the respondent, who may be affected by the order and how the person may be affected;

                     (e)  if the application is made under paragraph (1)(b)—the following information about the claim:

                              (i)  the basis of the claim;

                             (ii)  the amount of the claim;

                            (iii)  if the application is made without notice to the respondent—a possible response to the claim.

5.24  Ancillary orders

             (1)  The court may make an order (an ancillary order) ancillary to a freezing order or prospective freezing order as the court considers appropriate.

             (2)  Without limiting subrule (1), an ancillary order may be made for either or both of the following purposes:

                     (a)  eliciting information relating to assets relevant to the freezing order or prospective freezing order;

                     (b)  determining whether the freezing order should be made.

5.25  Order may be against a person not a party to proceeding

                   The court may make a freezing order, or an ancillary order under rule 5.24, against a person even if the person is not a party to a proceeding in which substantive relief is sought against the respondent.

5.26  Costs

             (1)  The court may make any order as to costs it considers appropriate in relation to an order made under this Division.

             (2)  Without limiting subrule (2), an order as to costs includes an order as to the costs of any person affected by a freezing order or an ancillary order under rule 5.24.

Part 5.5Applications for suppression or non‑publication orders

  

5.27  Application for suppression or non‑publication order

                   An applicant for an order to suppress publication of a judgment must file and serve an affidavit that sets out evidence relating to the following:

                     (a)  the public interest in suppressing or not suppressing publication;

                     (b)  why further anonymisation of the judgment would not be sufficient;

                     (c)  whether publication of the entire judgment should be suppressed or only part of the judgment;

                     (d)  whether publication should be suppressed in one medium or in all media;

                     (e)  whether a summary of the judgment should be made publicly available if publication of the judgment is suppressed;

                      (f)  one or more grounds, referred to in subsection 102PF(1) of the Family Law Act, on which the application is made.

Note:          All judgments in family law proceedings are anonymised in accordance with the requirements of section 121 of the Family Law Act.

Chapter 6Disclosure and subpoenas

   

  

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 6

Part 6.1Duty of disclosure

Division 6.1.1General duty of disclosure

6.01  General duty of disclosure

             (1)  Subject to subrule (4), each party to a proceeding has a duty to the court and to each other party to give full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to the proceeding, in a timely manner.

Note:          The proceedings to which the duty of disclosure applies include both parenting proceedings and financial proceedings. Failure to comply with the duty may result in the court excluding evidence that is not disclosed or imposing a consequence, including punishment for contempt of court.

             (2)  The duty of disclosure applies from the start of the proceeding and continues until the proceeding is finalised.

Note:          Parties are also expected to comply with the duty of disclosure when complying with the pre‑action procedures.

             (3)  The duty of disclosure also applies to a litigation guardian appointed under Part 3.5.

             (4)  This rule does not apply to a respondent to an application alleging contravention or contempt.

6.02  Undertaking by party

             (1)  A party (but not an independent children’s lawyer) must file a written notice:

                     (a)  stating that the party:

                              (i)  has read Parts 6.1 and 6.2 of these Rules; and

                             (ii)  is aware of the party’s duty to the court and each other party (including any independent children’s lawyer) to give full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to the issues in the proceeding, in a timely manner; and

                     (b)  undertaking to the court that, to the best of the party’s knowledge and ability, the party has complied with, and will continue to comply with, the duty of disclosure; and

                     (c)  acknowledging that a breach of the undertaking may be a contempt of court.

             (2)  A party commits an offence if the party makes a statement or signs an undertaking the party knows, or should reasonably have known, is false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty:  50 penalty units.

Note:          Subrule (2) is in addition to the court’s powers under section 112AP of the Family Law Act relating to contempt and the court’s power to make an order for costs.

             (3)  If the court makes an order against a party under section 112AP of the Family Law Act in respect of a false or misleading statement referred to in subrule (2), the party must not be charged with an offence against subrule (2) in respect of that statement.

             (4)  A notice under subrule (1) must be in accordance with the approved form and must be filed before the first court date, unless the court otherwise orders.

6.03  Duty of disclosure—documents

                   The duty of disclosure applies to each document that:

                     (a)  is or has been in the possession, or under the control, of the party disclosing the document; and

                     (b)  is relevant to an issue in the proceeding.

Note:          In particular types of proceedings, practice directions may specify the documents that must be disclosed in those proceedings. See also rules 6.05 and 6.06.

6.04  Use of documents

             (1)  A person who inspects or copies a document, in relation to a proceeding, under these Rules or an order:

                     (a)  must use the document for the purpose of the proceeding only; and

                     (b)  must not otherwise disclose the contents of the document, or give a copy of it, to any other person without the court’s permission.

             (2)  However:

                     (a)  a solicitor may disclose the contents of the document or give a copy of the document to the solicitor’s client or counsel; and

                     (b)  a client may disclose the contents of the document or give a copy of the document to the client’s solicitor or counsel; and

                     (c)  this rule does not affect the right of a party to use a document or to disclose its contents if that party has a common interest in the document with the party who has possession or control of the document.

Division 6.1.2Duty of disclosure in specific types of proceedings

6.05  Duty of disclosure—parenting proceedings

             (1)  The duty of disclosure applies to a parenting proceeding.

             (2)  Documents that may contain information relevant to a parenting proceeding may include, among other documents:

                     (a)  criminal records of a party; and

                     (b)  documents filed in intervention order proceedings concerning a party; and

                     (c)  medical reports about a child or party; and

                     (d)  school reports.

6.06  Duty of disclosure—financial proceedings

             (1)  The duty of disclosure applies to a financial proceeding.

             (2)  Subrules (3) to (9) do not apply to a party to a property proceeding who is not a party to the marriage or de facto relationship to which the application relates, except to the extent that the party’s financial circumstances are relevant to the issues in dispute.

             (3)  Without limiting subrule (1), a party to a financial proceeding must make full and frank disclosure of the party’s financial circumstances, including the following:

                     (a)  the party’s earnings, including income that is paid or assigned to another party, person or legal entity;

                     (b)  any vested or contingent interest in property;

                     (c)  any vested or contingent interest in property owned by a legal entity that is fully or partially owned or controlled by a party;

                     (d)  any income earned by a legal entity fully or partially owned or controlled by a party, including income that is paid or assigned to any other party, person or legal entity;

                     (e)  the party’s other financial resources;

                      (f)  any trust:

                              (i)  of which the party is the appointor or trustee; or

                             (ii)  of which the party, the party’s child, spouse or de facto spouse is an eligible beneficiary as to capital or income; or

                            (iii)  of which a corporation is an eligible beneficiary as to capital or income if the party, or the party’s child, spouse or de facto spouse is a shareholder or director of the corporation; or

                            (iv)  over which the party has any direct or indirect power or control; or

                             (v)  of which the party has the direct or indirect power to remove or appoint a trustee; or

                            (vi)  of which the party has the power (whether subject to the concurrence of another person or not) to amend the terms; or

                           (vii)  of which the party has the power to disapprove a proposed amendment of the terms or the appointment or removal of a trustee; or

                          (viii)  over which a corporation has a power referred to in any of subparagraphs (iv) to (vii), if the party, the party’s child, spouse or de facto spouse is a director or shareholder of the corporation;

                     (g)  any disposal of property (whether by sale, transfer, assignment or gift) made by the party, a legal entity referred to in paragraph (c), a corporation or a trust referred to in paragraph (f) that may affect, defeat or deplete a claim:

                              (i)  in the 12 months immediately before the separation of the parties; or

                             (ii)  since the final separation of the parties;

                     (h)  liabilities and contingent liabilities.

             (4)  Paragraph (3)(g) does not apply to a disposal of property made:

                     (a)  with the consent or knowledge of the other party; or

                     (b)  in the ordinary course of business.

             (5)  A party starting, or filing a response or reply to, a financial proceeding (other than by an Application for Consent Orders) must file, at the same time:

                     (a)  a Financial Statement; and

                     (b)  a financial questionnaire in the form approved by the Chief Executive Officer.

             (6)  If a party is aware that the completion of a Financial Statement will not fully discharge the duty to make full and frank disclosure, the party must also file an affidavit giving further particulars.

             (7)  If a party’s financial circumstances have changed significantly from the information set out in the Financial Statement or an affidavit filed under subrule (6), the party must, within 21 days after the change of circumstances, file:

                     (a)  a new Financial Statement; or

                     (b)  if the changes can be set out clearly in 300 words or less—an affidavit containing details about the party’s changed financial circumstances.

             (8)  Without limiting subrule (1), unless the court otherwise orders, a party (the first party) who is required by this rule to file a Financial Statement (other than a respondent to an application for maintenance only) must, before the first court date, serve on each other party who has an address for service in the proceeding the following documents:

                     (a)  a copy of the party’s 3 most recent taxation returns;

                     (b)  a copy of the party’s 3 most recent taxation assessments;

                     (c)  if the first party is a member of a superannuation plan:

                              (i)  the completed superannuation information form for any superannuation interest of the party (unless it has already been filed or exchanged); and

                             (ii)  for a self‑managed superannuation fund—the trust deed and a copy of the 3 most recent financial statements for the fund;

                     (d)  if the party has an Australian Business Number—a copy of the last 4 business activity statements lodged;

                     (e)  if there is a partnership, trust or company (other than a public company) in which the party has an interest—a copy of the 3 most recent financial statements and the last 4 business activity statements lodged by the partnership, trust or company.

             (9)  Without limiting subrule (1), a respondent to an application for maintenance only must bring to the court on the first court date the following documents:

                     (a)  a copy of the respondent’s taxation return for the most recent financial year;

                     (b)  a copy of the respondent’s taxation assessment for the most recent financial year;

                     (c)  copies of the respondent’s bank records for the 12 months immediately before the date when the application was filed;

                     (d)  the respondent’s most recent pay slip;

                     (e)  if the respondent has an Australian Business Number—a copy of the last 4 business activity statements lodged;

                      (f)  any document in the respondent’s possession, custody or control that may assist the court in determining the income, needs and financial resources of the respondent.

           (10)  This rule does not require a party to be served with a document that has already been provided to the party.

Part 6.2Disclosure procedures

Division 6.2.1Introduction

6.07  Application of Part 6.2

                   This Part does not apply to the following applications:

                     (a)  an application for an order that a marriage is a nullity;

                     (b)  an application for a declaration as to the validity of a marriage;

                     (c)  an application for a declaration as to the validity of a divorce or annulment of marriage.

Division 6.2.2Processes of disclosure, production and inspection

6.08  Application of Division 6.2.2

                   This Division does not affect:

                     (a)  the right of a party to inspect a document, if the party has a common interest in the document with the party who has possession or control of the document; or

                     (b)  any other right of access to a document other than under this Division; or

                     (c)  an agreement between the parties for disclosure by a procedure that is not described in this Division.

6.09  Disclosure by list of documents

             (1)  After a proceeding has been allocated a first court date, a party (the requesting party) may, by written notice, ask another party (the disclosing party) to give the requesting party a list of documents to which the duty of disclosure applies.

             (2)  The disclosing party must, within 21 days after receiving the notice, serve on the requesting party a list of documents identifying:

                     (a)  the documents to which the duty of disclosure applies; and

                     (b)  the documents (if any) no longer in the disclosing party’s possession or control to which the duty would otherwise apply (with a brief statement about the circumstances in which the documents left the party’s possession or control); and

                     (c)  the documents (if any) for which privilege from production is claimed.

             (3)  If a document that must be disclosed is located by, or comes into the possession or control of, a disclosing party after service of the list under subrule (2), the party must disclose the document within 7 days after it is located or comes into the party’s possession or control.

6.10  Request for disclosed document

             (1)  This rule applies to a document disclosed under rule 6.09.

             (2)  The requesting party may, by written notice, ask the disclosing party to:

                     (a)  provide a copy of the document in accordance with rule 6.13; or

                     (b)  produce the document for inspection in accordance with rule 6.14.

6.11  Request for other identified document

             (1)  This rule applies to a document referred to:

                     (a)  in a document filed or served by a party on another party or on an independent children’s lawyer; or

                     (b)  in correspondence prepared and sent by or to another party or to an independent children’s lawyer.

             (2)  A party may, by written notice, require another party to:

                     (a)  provide a copy of the document in accordance with rule 6.13; or

                     (b)  produce the document for inspection in accordance with rule 6.14.

6.12  Request to inspect original document

             (1)  A party may, by written notice, require another party to produce for inspection an original document if the document is a document that must be produced under the duty of disclosure.

             (2)  If a party receives a notice under subrule (1), the party must produce the document for inspection in accordance with rule 6.14.

6.13  Provision of copies of documents

             (1)  Subject to subrule (2) and rule 6.15, a party must provide copies of documents to the party requesting the copies:

                     (a)  within 21 days after receiving a notice under paragraph 6.10(2)(a) or 6.11(2)(a); and

                     (b)  at the expense of the party requesting the copies; and

                     (c)  if practicable, in an electronic format.

             (2)  If it is not convenient for a disclosing party to provide copies of documents under subrule (1) because of the number and size of the documents, the disclosing party must produce the documents for inspection in accordance with rule 6.14.

6.14  Production of documents for inspection

             (1)  A party must produce documents for inspection in accordance with this rule if the party:

                     (a)  receives a notice under paragraph 6.10(2)(b); or

                     (b)  receives a notice under paragraph 6.11(2)(b); or

                     (c)  receives a notice under paragraph 6.10(2)(a) or 6.11(2)(a) and subrule 6.13(2) applies; or

                     (d)  receives a notice under subrule 6.12(1).

             (2)  Subject to rule 6.15, a party must, within 14 days after receiving a notice referred to in subrule (1):

                     (a)  notify, in writing, the party requesting the document of a convenient place and time to inspect the document; and

                     (b)  produce the document for inspection at that place and time; and

                     (c)  allow copies of the document to be made, at the expense of the party requesting it.

             (3)  The time fixed under paragraph (2)(a) must be within 21 days after the party receives the notice referred to in subrule (1) or as otherwise agreed.

             (4)  A party who fails to inspect a document after receiving a notice under subrule (2) may not later do so unless the party tenders an amount for the reasonable costs of providing another opportunity for inspection.

6.15  Documents that need not be produced

             (1)  A party must disclose, but need not provide a copy of nor produce to the party requesting it:

                     (a)  a document for which there is a claim of privilege from production; or

                     (b)  a document that is no longer in the disclosing party’s possession or control; or

                     (c)  a document a copy of which has already been provided, if the copy contains no change, obliteration or other mark or feature that is likely to affect the outcome of the proceeding.

             (2)  Subrule (1) does not affect the operation of rule 7.14.

Note:          Rule 7.14 requires the disclosure of an expert’s report in a parenting proceeding.

Division 6.2.3Objecting to production

6.16  Objection to production

             (1)  This rule applies if:

                     (a)  a party claims:

                              (i)  privilege from production of a document; or

                             (ii)  that the party is unable to produce a document; and

                     (b)  another party, by written notice, challenges the claim.

             (2)  The party making the claim must, within 7 days after the other party challenges the claim, file an affidavit setting out details of the claim.

             (3)  The court may inspect the document for the purpose of determining whether the claim is valid.

Division 6.2.4Orders in relation to disclosure

6.17  Consequences of non‑disclosure

                   If a party does not disclose a document as required by these Rules:

                     (a)  the party:

                              (i)  must not offer the document, or present evidence of its contents, at a hearing or trial without the other party’s consent or the court’s permission; and

                             (ii)  may be guilty of contempt for not disclosing the document; and

                            (iii)  may be ordered to pay costs; and

                     (b)  the court may stay or dismiss all or part of the party’s case.

Note 1:       A party who discloses a document under this Part must produce the document at the trial if a notice to produce has been given (see rule 6.42).

Note 2:       Section 112AP of the Family Law Act sets out the court’s powers in relation to a contempt of court.

6.18  Application for order for disclosure, production or inspection

             (1)  A party (the first party) may seek an order that:

                     (a)  another party comply with a request for a list of documents in accordance with rule 6.09; or

                     (b)  another party provide an affidavit of documents; or

                     (c)  another party disclose a specified document, or class of documents, by providing a copy of the document, or each document in the class; or

                     (d)  another party produce a document for inspection; or

                     (e)  another party file an affidavit stating:

                              (i)  that a specified document, or class of documents, does not exist or has never existed; or

                             (ii)  the circumstances in which a specified document or class of documents ceased to exist or passed out of the possession or control of that party; or

                      (f)  the first party be partly or fully relieved of the duty of disclosure.

             (2)  A party making an application under subrule (1) must satisfy the court that the order is appropriate in the interests of the administration of justice.

             (3)  The court may make an order of a kind referred to in subrule (1) on its own initiative if it is satisfied that the order is appropriate in the interests of the administration of justice.

             (4)  In making an order under subrule (1) or (3), the court may consider:

                     (a)  whether the disclosure sought is relevant to an issue in dispute; and

                     (b)  the relative importance of the issue to which the document or class of documents relates; and

                     (c)  the likely time, cost and inconvenience involved in disclosing a document or class of documents, taking into account the amount of the property, or complexity of the corporate, trust or partnership interests (if any), involved in the proceeding; and

                     (d)  the likely effect on the outcome of the proceeding of disclosing, or not disclosing, the document or class of documents.

             (5)  If the disclosure of a document is necessary for the purpose of resolving a proceeding at a dispute resolution event, a party (the requesting party) may, on the first court date, seek an order that another party:

                     (a)  provide a copy of the document to the requesting party; or

                     (b)  produce the document to the requesting party for inspection and copying.

             (6)  The court may make an order under subrule (5) only in exceptional circumstances.

             (7)  The court may inspect a document to decide:

                     (a)  an application made under this rule; or

                     (b)  whether to make an order under subrule (3).

6.19  Costs of compliance

                   If the cost of complying with the duty of disclosure would be oppressive to a party, the court may order another party to:

                     (a)  pay the costs; or

                     (b)  contribute to the costs; or

                     (c)  give security for costs.

6.20  Electronic disclosure

                   The court may make an order directing electronic disclosure of documents.

Part 6.3Specific questions

  

6.21  Application of Part 6.3

                   This Part applies only in relation to an application seeking final orders.

6.22  Service of specific questions

             (1)  After a proceeding has been allocated a first court date, a party (the requesting party) may serve on another party (the answering party) a request to answer specific questions.

             (2)  A party may only serve one set of specific questions on another party.

             (3)  The specific questions must:

                     (a)  be in writing; and

                     (b)  be limited to 20 questions (with each question taken to be one specific question); and

                     (c)  not be vexatious or oppressive.

             (4)  If an answering party is required, by a written notice served under rule 6.09 or an order, to give the requesting party a list of documents, the answering party is not required to answer the questions until the time for disclosure under Part 6.2 or an order has expired.

             (5)  The requesting party must serve a copy of any request to answer specific questions on all other parties.

6.23  Answering specific questions

             (1)  A party on whom a request to answer specific questions is served must answer the questions in an affidavit that is filed and served on each person to be served within 21 days after the request was served.

             (2)  The party must, in the affidavit:

                     (a)  answer, fully and frankly, each specific question; or

                     (b)  object to answering a specific question.

             (3)  An objection under paragraph (2)(b) must:

                     (a)  specify the grounds of the objection; and

                     (b)  briefly state the facts in support of the objection.

6.24  Orders in relation to specific questions

             (1)  A party may apply for an order:

                     (a)  that a party comply with rule 6.23 and answer, or further answer, a specific question served on the party under rule 6.22; or

                     (b)  determining the extent to which a question must be answered; or

                     (c)  requiring a party to state specific grounds of objection; or

                     (d)  determining the validity of an objection; or

                     (e)  that a party who has not answered, or who has given an insufficient answer, to a specific question be required to attend court to be examined.

             (2)  A party making an application under subrule (1) must satisfy the court that the order is appropriate in the interests of the administration of justice.

             (3)  In considering whether to make an order under subrule (1), the court may take into account whether:

                     (a)  the requesting party is unlikely, at the trial, to have another reasonably simple and inexpensive way of proving the matter sought to be obtained by the specific questions; and

                     (b)  answering the questions will cause unacceptable delay or undue expense; and

                     (c)  the specific questions are relevant to an issue in the proceeding.

Part 6.4Disclosure from employer

  

6.25  Disclosure of employment information in proceedings for financial orders

             (1)  This rule sets out the information a party may require from an employer of a party to a financial proceeding.

             (2)  The court may order a party to inform the court, in writing, within a specified time, of:

                     (a)  the name and address of the party’s employer or, if the party has more than one employer, each employer; and

                     (b)  other information the court considers necessary to enable an employer to identify the party.

             (3)  Subrule (4) applies if:

                     (a)  a party (the requesting party) requests the employer of another party (the employee) to give particulars about:

                              (i)  the employer’s indebtedness to the employee; or

                             (ii)  the employee’s present rate of earnings, or of all the earnings of the employee that became payable during a specified period; or

                            (iii)  the employee’s conditions of employment; or

                            (iv)  the employee’s accrued or potential leave entitlements as at a particular date or dates; or

                             (v)  any entitlement of the employee to earn bonuses and any conditions that the employee must satisfy in order to be paid such bonuses; and

                     (b)  the employer refuses, or fails to respond to, the requesting party’s request.

             (4)  The requesting party may apply for an order that the employer inform the court, in writing, within a specified time, of the particulars referred to in paragraph (3)(a).

Note:          A document purporting to include the information referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b), or the particulars referred to in paragraph (3)(a), may be admitted as evidence of its contents (see section 48 of the Evidence Act 1995). However, subject to sections 4 and 5 of the Evidence Act 1995, that Act does not apply to the Family Court of Western Australia or any other court of a State.

Part 6.5Subpoenas and notices to produce

Division 6.5.1Subpoenas: general

6.26  Issue of subpoena

             (1)  The court may, on the court’s own initiative or at the request of a party, issue:

                     (a)  a subpoena for production; or

                     (b)  a subpoena to give evidence; or

                     (c)  a subpoena for production and to give evidence.

             (2)  A subpoena must be in accordance with the approved form.

             (3)  A subpoena must specify the name or designation by office or position of the person subpoenaed.

             (4)  A subpoena requiring a person to produce a document or thing must include an adequate description of the document or thing and the time and place for production.

             (5)  A party should not request the issue of a subpoena for production and to give evidence if production would be sufficient in the circumstances.

6.27  Limits on requests for subpoenas

             (1)  A self‑represented party must not request the issue of a subpoena without the permission of the court.

             (2)  A party or an independent children’s lawyer must not request the issue of:

                     (a)  a subpoena to give evidence; or

                     (b)  a subpoena for production and to give evidence; or

                     (c)  a subpoena for production for a final hearing; or

                     (d)  a subpoena for production directed to another party to the proceeding;

without the permission of the court.

             (3)  Subject to subrules (1) and (2), a party may request the issue of up to 5 subpoenas for production for the hearing of an application for an interlocutory order without the permission of the court.

             (4)  Subject to subrules (1) and (2), an independent children’s lawyer may request the issue of any number of subpoenas for production for the hearing of an application for an interlocutory order without the permission of the court.

             (5)  A request made under subrule (3) must state the total number of subpoenas the party has already requested under that subrule in the proceeding.

6.28  Documents and things in possession of another court

             (1)  The court must not issue a subpoena requiring the production of a document or thing in the possession of the court or another court.

             (2)  A party who seeks production of a document or thing in the possession of another court must give to the Registry Manager a written notice setting out:

                     (a)  the name and address of the court having possession of the document; and

                     (b)  a description of the document to be produced; and

                     (c)  the date when the document is to be produced; and

                     (d)  the reason for seeking production.

             (3)  On receiving a notice under subrule (2), the Registry Manager may ask the other court, in writing, to send the document to the filing registry by a specified date.

             (4)  A party may apply for permission to inspect and copy a document produced to the court under this rule.

6.29  Time limits

             (1)  A subpoena requiring production only must be made returnable no later than 3 days before any court event to which the subpoena relates, unless the court otherwise orders.

             (2)  A subpoena requiring attendance of a person must be made returnable on a day when the proceeding is listed for a hearing.

             (3)  Unless the court directs otherwise:

                     (a)  a subpoena requiring attendance must be served at least 7 days before attendance under the subpoena is required; and

                     (b)  a subpoena requiring production must be served at least 10 days before production under the subpoena is required.

Note:          A subpoena must be served within 3 months after it is issued (see rule 2.30).

6.30  Service

             (1)  A subpoena requiring the person subpoenaed to give evidence must be served by personal service.

             (2)  A subpoena for production only may be served:

                     (a)  by ordinary service; or

                     (b)  by a manner of service agreed between the issuing party and the person subpoenaed.

             (3)  The issuing party for a subpoena must serve by ordinary service a copy of the subpoena on each other party, any interested person and any independent children’s lawyer in the proceeding.

Note 1:       For personal service, see Division 2.6.2. For ordinary service, see Division 2.6.3.

Note 2:       For service on a corporation, a subpoena must be served on the proper officer or other person entitled to accept service of a subpoena for a corporation (see subrule 6.26(3)).

6.31  Conduct money and witness fees

             (1)  The person serving a subpoena must give the person subpoenaed conduct money sufficient for return travel between the place of residence or employment (as appropriate) of the person subpoenaed and the court.

             (2)  The amount of conduct money must be at least equal to the minimum amount referred to in Part 1 of Schedule 2.

             (3)  A named person served with a subpoena to give evidence and a subpoena to give evidence and produce documents is entitled to be paid a witness fee by the issuing party in accordance with Part 2 of Schedule 2, immediately after attending court in compliance with the subpoena.

6.32  Undertaking not to require compliance with subpoena

                   The issuing party for a subpoena may, by notice in writing served on the person subpoenaed and on each other party, undertake not to require the person subpoenaed to comply with the subpoena.

6.33  Setting aside subpoena

                   On application, the court may make an order setting aside all or part of a subpoena.

6.34  Order for cost of complying with subpoena

                   Subject to rule 6.35, the court may, on application, make an order for the payment of any loss or expense incurred in complying with a subpoena.

6.35  Cost of complying with subpoena if not a party

             (1)  This rule applies if:

                     (a)  a subpoena is addressed to a person who is not a party to the proceeding; and

                     (b)  before complying with the subpoena, the person subpoenaed has given the issuing party notice that substantial loss or expense would be incurred in properly complying with the subpoena, including a particularised estimate of the loss or expense; and

                     (c)  the court is satisfied that substantial loss or expense is incurred in properly complying with the subpoena.

             (2)  Unless the court otherwise directs, the amount of the loss or expense estimated under paragraph (1)(b) is payable by the issuing party.

             (3)  The court may fix the amount payable having regard to the scale of fees and allowances payable to witnesses in the Supreme Court of the State or Territory where the person is required to attend.

             (4)  The amount payable is in addition to any conduct money paid.

             (5)  If a party who is to pay an amount under this rule obtains an order for the costs of the proceeding, the court may:

                     (a)  allow the amount to be included in the costs recoverable; or

                     (b)  make any other order it thinks appropriate.

Division 6.5.2Subpoenas: production of documents and access by parties

6.36  Use of documents produced in compliance with subpoena for production

             (1)  This Division:

                     (a)  applies to a subpoena for production; and

                     (b)  does not apply to a subpoena for production and to give evidence.

             (2)  A person who inspects or copies a document under these Rules or an order:

                     (a)  must use the document only for the purpose of the proceedings; and

                     (b)  must not otherwise disclose the contents of the document, or give a copy of it, to any other person without the court’s permission.

             (3)  However:

                     (a)  a solicitor may disclose the contents or give a copy of the document to the solicitor’s client or counsel; and

                     (b)  a client may disclose the contents or give a copy of the document to the client’s solicitor or counsel; and

                     (c)  nothing in this rule prevents a client or a client’s solicitor from providing a document to an expert for the purpose of the proceeding as permitted by Chapter 7.

6.37  Right to inspection of document

             (1)  This rule applies if:

                     (a)  the court issues a subpoena for production of a document under rule 6.26; and

                     (b)  the issuing party serves a copy of the subpoena on each other party, any interested person and any independent children’s lawyer in accordance with rule 6.30, at least 10 days before the day stated in the subpoena for production; and

                     (c)  the issuing party files a notice of request to inspect in an approved form.

             (2)  If a person subpoenaed, another party or an interested person has not made an objection under rule 6.38 by the date required for production, each party and independent children’s lawyer (if any) may, after that day:

                     (a)  inspect a subpoenaed document; and

                     (b)  take copies of a subpoenaed document, other than a child welfare record, criminal record, medical record or police record.

Note:          For child welfare record, criminal record, medical record and police record, see rule 1.05.

             (3)  Unless otherwise ordered, the inspection is by appointment and without an order.

Note:          For child welfare records, there may be restrictions on inspection imposed by protocols entered into between the court and the relevant child welfare department.

6.38  Objection to production or inspection or copying of document

             (1)  A person who objects to producing a document subpoenaed, or another party or an interested person who objects to the inspection or copying of a document subpoenaed by a party to the proceedings, must, before the day stated in the subpoena for production, give written notice of the objection and the grounds of the objection to:

                     (a)  the Registry Manager; and

                     (b)  if the objector is not the person subpoenaed—the person subpoenaed; and

                     (c)  each party, or other party, to the proceeding; and

                     (d)  each independent children’s lawyer, or each other independent children’s lawyer, in the proceeding.

             (2)  If an issuing party seeks the production of a person’s medical records, the person may, before the day stated in the subpoena for production, notify the Registry Manager in writing that the person wants to inspect the records for the purpose of determining whether to object to the inspection or copying of the document by any other party.

             (3)  If a person gives a notice under subrule (2):

                     (a)  the person may inspect the medical records and notify the Registry Manager in writing of an objection (including the grounds of the objection) within 7 days after the day stated in the subpoena for production; and

                     (b)  unless otherwise ordered, no other person may inspect the medical records until the later of the following:

                              (i)  7 days after the day stated in the subpoena for production;

                             (ii)  the day of the hearing and determination of the objection (if any).

             (4)  A subpoena that is the subject of a notice of objection under this rule must be referred to the court for the hearing and determination of the objection.

             (5)  The court may compel a person to produce a document to the court for the purpose of ruling on an objection made under subrule (1) or paragraph (3)(a).

6.39  Subpoena for production of documents or things

             (1)  If a person is served with a subpoena for production:

                     (a)  the person, or the person’s agent, must produce the documents or things described in the subpoena at the registry stated in the subpoena; and

                     (b)  the Registry Manager must issue a receipt to the person producing the document or thing.

             (2)  Unless the subpoena specifically requires the production of the original documents or things, the person, or the person’s agent, may produce a copy of the document or things.

             (3)  The copy of the document or things may be:

                     (a)  a photocopy; or

                     (b)  in PDF format; or

                     (c)  in any other electronic form that the issuing party has indicated is acceptable.

6.40  Return of documents produced

             (1)  This rule applies to a document produced in compliance with a subpoena that is to be returned to the person subpoenaed.

             (2)  If the document is tendered as an exhibit at a hearing or trial, the Registry Manager must return it at least 28 days, and no later than 42 days, after the final determination of the application or appeal.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  a document is not tendered as an exhibit at a hearing or trial; and

                     (b)  the issuing party has been given 7 days written notice of the Registry Manager’s intention to return it;

the Registry Manager may return the document to the person subpoenaed at a time that is earlier than the time referred to in subrule (2).

             (4)  If the Registry Manager has received written permission from the person subpoenaed to destroy the document:

                     (a)  subrules (2) and (3) do not apply; and

                     (b)  the Registry Manager may destroy the document, in an appropriate way, not earlier than 42 days after the final determination of the application or appeal.

             (5)  Nothing in this rule requires the Registry Manager:

                     (a)  to return to the person subpoenaed any document that is produced in electronic form; or

                     (b)  to obtain permission from the person subpoenaed to destroy such a document, in an appropriate way, not earlier than 42 days after the final determination of the application or appeal.

Division 6.5.3Non‑compliance with subpoena

6.41  Failure to comply with subpoena

                   If:

                     (a)  a person subpoenaed does not comply with a subpoena; and

                     (b)  the court is satisfied that the person subpoenaed was served with the subpoena and given conduct money in compliance with rule 6.31;

the court may issue a warrant for the person’s arrest and order the person to pay any costs caused by the non‑compliance.

Note 1:       A person who does not comply with a subpoena may be guilty of contempt (see section 112AP of the Family Law Act).

Note 2:       A person does not need to comply with a subpoena if it was not served in compliance with rule 6.30 or the person serving the subpoena did not give the person subpoenaed conduct money in compliance with rule 6.31.

Division 6.5.4Notices to produce

6.42  Notice to produce

             (1)  A party may, no later than 7 days before a hearing or 28 days before a trial, by written notice, require another party to produce, at the hearing or trial, a specified document that is in the possession or control of the other party.

             (2)  A party receiving a notice under subrule (1) must produce the document at the hearing or trial, in a form in which it can be accessed in court.

Chapter 7Experts and assessors

   

  

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 7

Part 7.1Experts

Division 7.1.1Introduction

7.01  Application of Part 7.1

             (1)  This Part (other than rule 7.14) does not apply to any of the following:

                     (a)  evidence from a medical practitioner or other person who has provided, or is providing, treatment for a party or child if the evidence relates only to any or all of the following:

                              (i)  the results of an examination, investigation or observation made;

                             (ii)  a description of any treatment carried out or recommended;

                            (iii)  expressions of opinion limited to the reasons for carrying out or recommending treatment and the consequences of the treatment, including a prognosis;

                     (b)  evidence from an expert who has been retained for a purpose other than the giving of advice or evidence, or the preparation of a report for a proceeding or anticipated proceeding, being evidence:

                              (i)  about that expert’s involvement with a party, child or subject matter of a proceeding; and

                             (ii)  describing the reasons for the expert’s involvement and the results of that involvement;

                     (c)  evidence from an expert who has been associated, involved or had contact with a party, child or subject matter of a proceeding for a purpose other than the giving of advice or evidence, or the preparation of a report for a proceeding or anticipated proceeding, being evidence about that expert’s association, involvement or contact with that party, child or subject matter;

                     (d)  evidence from a family consultant employed by the Federal Circuit and Family Court or the Family Court of a State.

Example:    An example of evidence excluded from the requirements of this Part (other than rule 7.14) is evidence from a treating doctor or a teacher in relation to the doctor’s or teacher’s involvement with a party or child.

             (2)  Nothing in this Part prevents an independent children’s lawyer communicating with a single expert witness.

7.02  Purpose of Part 7.1

                   The purpose of this Part is as follows:

                     (a)  to ensure that parties obtain expert evidence only in relation to a significant issue in dispute;

                     (b)  to restrict expert evidence to that which is necessary to resolve or determine a proceeding;

                     (c)  to ensure that, if practicable and without compromising the interests of justice, expert evidence is given on an issue by a single expert witness;

                     (d)  to avoid unnecessary costs arising from the appointment of more than one expert witness;

                     (e)  to enable a party to apply for permission to tender a report or adduce evidence from an expert witness appointed by that party, if that is necessary in the interests of justice.

Division 7.1.2Single expert witness

7.03  Appointment of single expert witness by parties jointly

             (1)  If the parties agree that expert evidence may help to resolve a substantial issue in a proceeding, they may agree to jointly appoint a single expert witness to prepare a report in relation to the issue.

Note:          Subrules 7.13(3) to (5) set out the requirements that apply to instructions to a single expert witness appointed by agreement between the parties.

             (2)  A party does not need the court’s permission to tender a report or adduce evidence from a single expert witness appointed under subrule (1).

             (3)  A party must not communicate unilaterally with a single expert witness, except as permitted by these Rules.

             (4)  Any communication between a party and a single expert witness must, at the same time, also be provided to all other parties engaging that single expert witness, except as permitted by these Rules.

7.04  Order for single expert witness

             (1)  The court may, on application or on its own initiative, order that expert evidence be given by a single expert witness.

             (2)  When considering whether to make an order under subrule (1), the court may take into account any matters relevant to making the order, which may include the following (without limiting the matters which may be relevant):

                     (a)  the overarching purpose of these Rules (see rule 1.04) and the purpose of this Part (see rule 7.02);

                     (b)  whether expert evidence on a particular issue is necessary;

                     (c)  the nature of the issue in dispute;

                     (d)  whether the issue falls within a substantially established area of knowledge;

                     (e)  whether it is necessary for the court to have a range of opinion.

             (3)  The court may appoint a person as a single expert witness only if the person consents to the appointment.

             (4)  A party does not need the court’s permission to tender a report or adduce evidence from a single expert witness appointed under subrule (1).

7.05  Orders the court may make

                   The court may, in relation to the appointment of, instruction of, or conduct of a proceeding involving, a single expert witness make an order, including an order:

                     (a)  requiring the parties to confer for the purpose of agreeing on the person to be appointed as a single expert witness; or

                     (b)  that, if the parties cannot agree on who should be the single expert witness, the parties give the court a list stating:

                              (i)  the names of people who are experts on the relevant issue and have consented to being appointed as an expert witness; and

                             (ii)  the fee each expert will accept for preparing a report and attending court to give evidence; or

                     (c)  appointing a single expert witness from the list prepared by the parties or in some other way; or

                     (d)  determining any issue in dispute between the parties to ensure that clear instructions are given to the expert; or

                     (e)  that the parties:

                              (i)  confer for the purpose of preparing an agreed letter of instructions to the expert; and

                             (ii)  submit a draft letter of instructions for settling by the court; or

                      (f)  settling the instructions to be given to the expert; or

                     (g)  authorising and giving instructions about any inspection, test or experiment to be carried out for the purposes of the report; or

                     (h)  that a report not be released to a person or that access to the report be restricted.

7.06  Single expert witness’s fees and expenses

             (1)  Unless the parties agree otherwise or the court otherwise orders, the parties (but not an independent children’s lawyer) are equally liable to pay a single expert witness’s reasonable fees and expenses incurred in preparing a report.

Note:          Rule 12.32 sets out the circumstances in which an amount paid to an expert for preparation of a report is a disbursement properly incurred in a proceeding.

             (2)  A single expert witness is not required to undertake any work in relation to the expert witness’s appointment until the fees and expenses are paid or secured.

7.07  Single expert witness’s report

             (1)  A single expert witness must prepare a written report.

             (2)  If the single expert witness was appointed by the parties, the expert witness must give each party a copy of the report at the same time.

             (3)  If the single expert witness was appointed by the court, the expert witness must give the report to the Registry Manager.

Note 1:       An expert witness may seek procedural orders from the court under rule 7.19 if the expert witness considers that it would not be in the best interests of a child or a party to give a copy of a report to each party.

Note 2:       The delivery of an expert’s report may occur by electronic means, if appropriate.

             (4)  An applicant who has been given a copy of a report under subrule (2) must file the copy but does not need to serve it.

7.08  Appointing another expert witness

             (1)  If a single expert witness has been appointed to prepare a report or give evidence in relation to an issue, a party must not tender a report or adduce evidence from another expert witness on the same issue without the court’s permission.

             (2)  The court may allow a party to tender a report or adduce evidence from another expert witness on the same issue if it is satisfied that:

                     (a)  there is a substantial body of opinion contrary to any opinion given by the single expert witness and the contrary opinion is or may be necessary for determining the issue; or

                     (b)  another expert witness knows of matters, not known to the single expert witness, that may be necessary for determining the issue; or

                     (c)  there is another special reason for adducing evidence from another expert witness.

7.09  Cross‑examination of single expert witness

             (1)  A party wanting to cross‑examine a single expert witness at a hearing or trial must inform the expert witness in writing, at least 14 days before the date fixed for the hearing or trial, that the expert witness is required to attend.

             (2)  The court may limit the nature and length of cross‑examination of a single expert witness.

             (3)  Unless the court otherwise orders, a party who requires a single expert witness to attend court for cross‑examination must pay the reasonable fees and expenses of the single expert witness’s attendance.

Note:          Rule 12.31 sets out the circumstances in which an amount paid for attendance by an expert at a hearing is a disbursement properly incurred in a proceeding.

Division 7.1.3Permission for expert’s evidence

7.10  Permission for expert’s reports and evidence

             (1)  A party must apply for the court’s permission to tender a report or adduce evidence at a hearing or trial from an expert witness, other than a single expert witness.

             (2)  An independent children’s lawyer may tender a report or adduce evidence at a hearing or trial from one expert witness on an issue without the court’s permission.

7.11  Application for permission for expert witness

             (1)  A party may seek permission to tender a report or adduce evidence from an expert witness by filing an Application in a Proceeding.

             (2)  The affidavit filed with the application must state the following:

                     (a)  whether the party has attempted to agree on the appointment of a single expert witness with the other party and, if not, why not;

                     (b)  the name of the expert witness;

                     (c)  the issue about which the expert witness’s evidence is to be given;

                     (d)  the reason the expert evidence is necessary in relation to that issue;

                     (e)  the field in which the expert witness is expert;

                      (f)  the expert witness’s training, study or experience that qualifies the expert witness as having specialised knowledge on the issue;

                     (g)  whether there is any previous connection between the expert witness and the party.

             (3)  When considering whether to permit a party to tender a report or adduce evidence from an expert witness, the court may take into account the following:

                     (a)  the purpose of this Part (see rule 7.02);

                     (b)  the impact of the appointment of an expert witness on the costs of the proceeding;

                     (c)  the likelihood of the appointment expediting or delaying the proceeding;

                     (d)  the complexity of the issues in the proceeding;

                     (e)  whether the evidence should be given by a single expert witness rather than an expert witness appointed by one party only;

                      (f)  whether the expert witness has specialised knowledge, based on the person’s training, study or experience:

                              (i)  relevant to the issue on which evidence is to be given; and

                             (ii)  appropriate to the value, complexity and importance of the proceeding.

             (4)  If the court grants a party permission to tender a report or adduce evidence from an expert witness, the permission is limited to the expert witness named, and the field of expertise stated, in the order.

Note:          Despite an order under this rule, a party is not entitled to adduce evidence from an expert witness if the expert’s report has not been disclosed or a copy has not been given to the other party (see rule 7.17).

Division 7.1.4Instructions and disclosure of expert’s report

7.12  Application of Division 7.1.4

                   This Division does not apply to a market appraisal or an opinion as to value in relation to property obtained by a party for the purposes of a procedural hearing or conference.

7.13  Instructions to expert witness

             (1)  This rule applies to any expert witness, whether a single expert witness or an expert witness engaged by only one party or some parties.

             (2)  A party who instructs an expert witness to give an opinion for a proceeding or an anticipated proceeding must:

                     (a)  ensure the expert witness has a copy of the most recent version of, and has read, Divisions 7.1.4, 7.1.5 and 7.1.6 of these Rules; and

                     (b)  obtain a written report from the expert witness.

             (3)  All instructions to an expert witness must be in writing and must include:

                     (a)  a request for a written report; and

                     (b)  advice that the report may be used in an anticipated or actual proceeding; and

                     (c)  the issues about which the opinion is sought; and

                     (d)  a description of any matter to be investigated, or any experiment to be undertaken or issue to be reported on; and

                     (e)  full and frank disclosure of information and documents that will help the expert witness to perform the expert witness’s function.

             (4)  If a single expert witness is appointed, the parties must give the expert an agreed statement of facts on which to base the report.

             (5)  However, if a single expert witness is appointed and the parties do not agree on a statement of facts:

                     (a)  unless the court directs otherwise, each of the parties must give to the expert a statement of facts on which to base the report; and

                     (b)  the court may give directions about the form and content of the statement of facts to be given to the expert.

7.14  Mandatory disclosure of expert’s report

             (1)  A party who has obtained an expert’s report for a parenting proceeding, whether before or after the start of the proceeding, must give each other party a copy of the report:

                     (a)  if the report is obtained before the proceeding starts—at least 2 days before the first court date; or

                     (b)  if the report is obtained after the proceeding starts—within 7 days after the party obtains the report.

             (2)  The party who discloses an expert’s report must disclose any supplementary report and any notice amending the report under subrule 7.18(5).

             (3)  If an expert’s report has been disclosed under this rule, any party may seek to tender the report as evidence.

             (4)  Legal professional privilege does not apply in relation to an expert’s report that must be disclosed under this rule.

7.15  Provision of information about fees

                   A party who has instructed an expert witness must, if requested by another party, give each other party details of any fee or benefit received, or receivable, by or for the expert witness, for the preparation of the report and for services provided, or to be provided, by or for the expert witness in connection with the expert witness giving evidence for the party to the proceeding.

7.16  Application for provision of information

             (1)  This rule applies if the court is satisfied that:

                     (a)  a party (the disclosing party) has access to information or a document that is not reasonably available to the other party (the requesting party); and

                     (b)  the provision of the information or a copy of the document is necessary to allow an expert witness to carry out the expert witness’s function properly.

             (2)  The requesting party may apply for an order that the disclosing party:

                     (a)  file and serve a document specifying the information in enough detail to allow the expert witness to properly assess its value and significance; and

                     (b)  give a copy of the document to the expert witness.

Note:          An expert witness may request that the court make an order under this rule (see rule 7.19).

7.17  Failure to disclose report

                   A party who fails to give a copy of an expert’s report to another party or the independent children’s lawyer (if any) must not use the report or call the expert witness to give evidence at a hearing or trial, unless the other party and the independent children’s lawyer (if any) consent to the report being used or the expert witness being called, or the court orders otherwise.

Division 7.1.5Expert witness’s duties and rights

7.18  Expert witness’s duty to the court

             (1)  An expert witness has a duty to assist the court with matters that are within the expert witness’s knowledge and capability.

             (2)  The expert witness’s duty to the court prevails over the obligation of the expert witness to the person instructing, or paying the fees and expenses of, the expert witness.

             (3)  The expert witness has the following duties:

                     (a)  to give an objective and unbiased opinion that is also independent and impartial on matters that are within the expert witness’s knowledge and capability;

                     (b)  to conduct the expert witness’s functions in a timely way;

                     (c)  to avoid acting on an instruction or request to withhold or avoid agreement when attending a conference of experts;

                     (d)  to consider all material facts, including those that may detract from the expert witness’s opinion;

                     (e)  to tell the court:

                              (i)  if a particular question or issue falls outside the expert witness’s expertise; and

                             (ii)  if the expert witness believes that the report prepared by the expert witness is based on incomplete research or inaccurate or incomplete information, or is incomplete or may be inaccurate, for any reason;

                      (f)  to produce a written report that complies with rules 7.21 and 7.22.

             (4)  The expert witness’s duty to the court arises when the expert witness:

                     (a)  receives instructions under rule 7.13; or

                     (b)  is informed by a party that the expert witness may be called to give evidence in a proceeding.

             (5)  An expert witness who changes an opinion after the preparation of a report must give written notice to that effect:

                     (a)  if the expert witness is appointed by a party—to the instructing party; or

                     (b)  if the expert witness is appointed by the court—to the Registry Manager and each party.

             (6)  A notice under subrule (5) is taken to be part of the expert’s report.

7.19  Expert witness’s right to seek orders

             (1)  Before final orders are made, a single expert witness may, by written request to the court, seek a procedural order to assist in carrying out the expert witness’s function.

Note:          The written request may be by letter and may, for example:

(a)    ask for clarification of instructions; or

(b)    relate to questions referred to in Division 7.1.6; or

(c)    relate to a dispute about fees.

             (2)  The request must:

                     (a)  comply with rule 2.14; and

                     (b)  set out the procedural orders sought and the reason the orders are sought.

             (3)  The expert witness must serve a copy of the request on each party and satisfy the court that the copy has been served.

             (4)  The court may determine the request in chambers unless:

                     (a)  within 7 days after being served with the request, a party makes a written objection to the request being determined in chambers; or

                     (b)  the court decides that an oral hearing is necessary.

7.20  Expert witness’s evidence in chief

             (1)  An expert witness’s evidence in chief comprises:

                     (a)  the expert’s report; and

                     (b)  any changes to that report in a notice under subrule 7.18(5); and

                     (c)  any answers to questions under rule 7.27.

             (2)  An expert witness has the same protection and immunity in relation to the contents of a report disclosed under these Rules or an order as the expert witness could claim if the contents of the report were given by the expert witness orally at a hearing or trial.

7.21  Form of expert’s report

             (1)  An expert’s report must:

                     (a)  be addressed to the court and the party or parties instructing the expert witness; and

                     (b)  have attached to it a summary of the instructions given to the expert witness and a list of any documents relied on in preparing the report; and

                     (c)  be verified by an affidavit of the expert witness.

             (2)  The affidavit verifying the expert’s report must state the following:

                   I have made all the inquiries I believe are necessary and appropriate and to my knowledge there have not been any relevant matters omitted from this report, except as otherwise specifically stated in this report.

                   I believe that the facts within my knowledge that have been stated in this report are true.

                   The opinions I have expressed in this report are independent and impartial.

                   I have read and understand Divisions 7.1.4, 7.1.5 and 7.1.6 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 and have used my best endeavours to comply with them.

                   I have complied with the requirements of the following professional codes of conduct or protocol, being [state the name of the code or protocol].

                   I understand my duty to the court and I have complied with it and will continue to do so.

7.22  Contents of expert’s report

             (1)  An expert’s report must:

                     (a)  state the reasons for the expert witness’s conclusions; and

                     (b)  include a statement about the methodology used in the production of the report; and

                     (c)  include the material referred to in subrule (2) in support of the expert witness’s conclusions.

             (2)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), an export’s report must include the following in support of the expert witness’s conclusions:

                     (a)  the expert witness’s qualifications;

                     (b)  the literature or other material used in making the report;

                     (c)  the relevant facts, matters and assumptions on which the opinions in the report are based;

                     (d)  a statement about the facts in the report that are within the expert witness’s knowledge;

                     (e)  details about any tests, experiments, examinations or investigations relied on by the expert witness and, if they were carried out by another person, details of that person’s qualifications and experience;

                      (f)  if there is a range of opinion on the matters dealt with in the report—a summary of the range of opinion and the basis for the expert witness’s opinion;

                     (g)  a summary of the conclusions reached;

                     (h)  if necessary, a disclosure that:

                              (i)  a particular question or issue falls outside the expert witness’s expertise; or

                             (ii)  the report may be incomplete or inaccurate without some qualification and the details of any qualification; or

                            (iii)  the expert witness’s opinion is not a concluded opinion because further research or data is required or because of any other reason.

7.23  Consequences of non‑compliance

                   If an expert witness does not comply with these Rules, the court may do any of the following:

                     (a)  order the expert witness to attend court;

                     (b)  refuse to allow the expert’s report or any answers to questions to be relied on;

                     (c)  allow the report to be relied on but take the non‑compliance into account when considering the weight to be given to the expert witness’s evidence;

                     (d)  take the non‑compliance into account when making orders for:

                              (i)  an extension or abridgment of a time limit; or

                             (ii)  a stay of the proceeding; or

                            (iii)  interest payable on a sum ordered to be paid; or

                            (iv)  costs.

Note:          For the court’s power to order costs, see subsection 117(2) of the Family Law Act.

Division 7.1.6Clarification of single expert witness reports

7.24  Purpose of Division 7.1.6

             (1)  The purpose of this Division is to provide ways of clarifying a report prepared by a single expert witness.

             (2)  Clarification about a report may be obtained at a conference under rule 7.25 or by means of questions under rule 7.26.

7.25  Conference

             (1)  Within 21 days after receiving the report of a single expert witness, the parties may enter into a written agreement about conferring with the expert witness for the purpose of clarifying the report.

             (2)  The agreement may provide for the parties, or for one or more of them, to confer with the expert witness.

             (3)  Without limiting the scope of the conference, the parties must agree on arrangements for the conference.

             (4)  It is intended that the parties should be free to make any arrangements for the conference that are consistent with this Division.

Note:          For example, arrangements for a conference might include the attendance of another expert, or the provision of a supplementary report.

             (5)  Before participating in the conference, the expert witness must be informed of arrangements for the conference.

             (6)  In seeking to clarify the report of the expert witness, the parties must not interrogate the expert witness.

             (7)  If the parties do not agree about conferring with a single expert witness, the court, on application by a party, may order that a conference be held in accordance with any conditions the court determines.

7.26  Questions to single expert witness

             (1)  A party seeking to clarify the report of a single expert witness may ask questions of the single expert witness under this rule:

                     (a)  within 7 days after a conference (if any) is held under rule 7.25; or

                     (b)  if no conference is held under that rule—within 21 days after the party received the single expert witness’s report.

             (2)  The questions must:

                     (a)  be in writing and be put once only; and

                     (b)  be only for the purpose of clarifying the single expert witness’s report; and

                     (c)  not be vexatious or oppressive, or require the single expert witness to undertake an unreasonable amount of work to answer.

             (3)  The party must give a copy of any questions to each other party.

7.27  Single expert witness’s answers

             (1)  A single expert witness must answer a question received under rule 7.26 within 21 days after the later of the following:

                     (a)  the date the expert witness received the question;

                     (b)  the date the fees and expenses for answering the question are paid or secured.

             (2)  An answer to a question:

                     (a)  must be in writing; and

                     (b)  must specifically refer to the question; and

                     (c)  must:

                              (i)  answer the substance of the question; or

                             (ii)  object to answering the question.

             (3)  If the single expert witness objects to answering a question or is unable to answer a question, the single expert witness must state the reason for the objection or inability in the document containing the answers.

             (4)  The single expert witness’s answers:

                     (a)  must be:

                              (i)  attached to the affidavit under subrule 7.21(2); and

                             (ii)  sent by the single expert witness to all parties at the same time; and

                            (iii)  filed by the party asking the questions; and

                     (b)  are taken to be part of the expert’s report.

7.28  Single expert witness’s costs

             (1)  The reasonable fees and expenses of a single expert witness incurred in relation to a conference are to be paid as follows:

                     (a)  if only one of the parties attends the conference—by that party; or

                     (b)  if more than one of the parties attends the conference—by those parties jointly.

             (2)  If a single expert witness answers questions under rule 7.27, the expert witness’s reasonable fees and expenses incurred in answering any questions are to be paid by the party asking the questions.

             (3)  A single expert witness is not required to undertake any work in relation to a conference, or answer any questions, until the fees and expenses for that work or those answers are paid or secured.

             (4)  In this rule:

attend includes attendance by electronic communication.

7.29  Application for directions

                   A party may apply to the court for directions relating to a conference with a single expert witness or the asking or answering of questions under this Division.

Division 7.1.7Evidence from 2 or more expert witnesses

7.30  Application of Division 7.1.7

                   This Division applies to a proceeding in which 2 or more parties intend to tender an expert’s report or adduce evidence from different expert witnesses about the same, or a similar, question.

7.31  Conference of expert witnesses

             (1)  In a proceeding to which this Division applies:

                     (a)  the parties must arrange for the expert witnesses to confer at least 28 days before the earlier of the following:

                              (i)  the first day of the trial in which the experts’ reports are to be relied on in evidence;

                             (ii)  the first day when the experts’ reports are otherwise to be relied on in evidence; and

                     (b)  each party must give to the expert witness the party has instructed a copy of the court approved brochure entitled Experts’ Conferences—Guidelines for expert witnesses and those instructing them in proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Note:          The brochure is available on the court’s website.

             (2)  The court may, in relation to the conference, make an order, including an order about:

                     (a)  which expert witnesses are to attend; or

                     (b)  where and when the conference is to occur; or

                     (c)  which issues the expert witnesses must discuss; or

                     (d)  the questions to be answered by the expert witnesses; or

                     (e)  the documents to be given to the expert witnesses, including:

                              (i)  a copy of Divisions 7.1.4, 7.1.5 and 7.1.6 of these Rules; and

                             (ii)  relevant affidavits; and

                            (iii)  a joint statement of the assumptions to be relied on by the expert witnesses during the conference, including any competing assumptions; and

                            (iv)  all expert’s reports already disclosed by the parties.

             (3)  At the conference, the expert witnesses must:

                     (a)  identify the issues that are agreed and not agreed; and

                     (b)  if practicable, reach agreement on any outstanding issue; and

                     (c)  identify the reason for disagreement on any issue; and

                     (d)  identify what action (if any) may be taken to resolve any outstanding issues; and

                     (e)  prepare a joint statement specifying the matters referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d) and deliver a copy of the statement to each party.

             (4)  If the expert witnesses reach agreement on an issue, the agreement does not bind the parties unless the parties expressly agree to be bound by it.

             (5)  The joint statement may be tendered as evidence of matters agreed on and to identify the issues on which evidence will be called.

7.32  Conduct of trial with expert witnesses

                   At a trial, the court may make an order in relation to the giving of evidence by expert witnesses, including an order that:

                     (a)  an expert witness clarify the expert witness’s evidence after cross‑examination; or

                     (b)  an expert witness give evidence only after all or certain factual evidence relevant to the question has been led; or

                     (c)  each party intending to call an expert witness is to close that party’s case, subject only to adducing the evidence of the expert witness; or

                     (d)  each expert witness is to be sworn and available to give evidence in the presence of each other; or

                     (e)  each expert witness give evidence about the opinion given by another expert witness; or

                      (f)  cross‑examination, or re‑examination, of an expert witness is to be conducted:

                              (i)  by completing the cross‑examination or re‑examination of the expert witness before another expert witness; or

                             (ii)  by putting to each expert witness, in turn, each question relevant to one subject or issue at a time, until the cross‑examination or re‑examination of all witnesses is completed.

Part 7.2Assessors

  

7.33  Application of Part 7.2

                   This Part applies to all applications other than:

                     (a)  an application for divorce; or

                     (b)  an application for an order that a marriage is a nullity; or

                     (c)  an application for a declaration as to the validity of a marriage, divorce or annulment.

7.34  Appointing an assessor

             (1)  A party may apply for the appointment of an assessor by filing:

                     (a)  an Initiating Application (Family Law) and an affidavit; or

                     (b)  after a proceeding has started, an Application in a Proceeding and an affidavit.

             (2)  The affidavit filed with the application must:

                     (a)  state:

                              (i)  the name of the proposed assessor; and

                             (ii)  the issue about which the assessor’s assistance will be sought; and

                            (iii)  the assessor’s qualifications, skill and experience to give the assistance; and

                     (b)  attach the written consent of the proposed assessor.

             (3)  The court may appoint an assessor on its own initiative only if the court has:

                     (a)  notified the parties of the matters referred to in subrule (2); and

                     (b)  given the parties a reasonable opportunity to be heard in relation to the appointment.

7.35  Assessor’s report

             (1)  The court may direct an assessor to prepare a report.

             (2)  A copy of the report must be given to each party and any independent children’s lawyer.

             (3)  An assessor must not be required to give evidence.

             (4)  The court is not bound by an opinion or finding of the assessor.

7.36  Remuneration of assessor

             (1)  An assessor may:

                     (a)  be remunerated as determined by the court; and

                     (b)  be paid by the court, or a party or other person, as ordered by the court.

             (2)  The court may order a party or other person to pay, or give security for payment of, the assessor’s remuneration before the assessor is appointed to assist the court.

Chapter 8Admissions and evidence

   

  

A flowchart giving an outline of the contents of Chapter 8

Part 8.1Admissions

Note:       To reduce cost and delay, parties are encouraged to make admissions in relation to facts and documents. The admission is for the purposes of the proceeding only, in order to narrow the issues in dispute. A party should give the other party written notice of any admissions as early as practicable in the proceeding. For example, if admissions are made before the disclosure process, disclosure may be able to be limited and the costs of the proceeding reduced.

  

8.01  Request to admit

             (1)  A party may, by serving a Notice to Admit on another party, ask the other party to admit, for the purposes of the proceeding only, that a fact is true or that a document is genuine.

             (2)  A Notice to Admit must include a note to the effect that, under subrule 8.02(2), failure to serve a Notice Disputing a Fact or Document will result in the party being taken to have admitted that the fact is true or the document is genuine.

             (3)  If a Notice to Admit relates to a document, the party serving the Notice must attach a copy of the document to the notice, unless:

                     (a)  the other party has a copy of the document; or

                     (b)  it is not practicable to attach a copy to the Notice.

             (4)  If paragraph (3)(b) applies, the party serving the Notice must:

                     (a)  in the Notice:

                              (i)  identify the document; and

                             (ii)  specify a convenient place and time at which the document may be inspected; and

                     (b)  produce the document for inspection at the specified place and time.

8.02  Notice disputing fact or document

             (1)  If a party who is served with a Notice to Admit seeks to dispute a fact or document specified in the Notice, the party must serve on the party who served the Notice, within 14 days after it was served, a Notice Disputing the Fact or Document.

             (2)  If a party does not serve a Notice Disputing the Fact or Document in accordance with subrule (1), the party is taken to admit, for the purposes of the proceeding only, that the fact is true or the document is genuine.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  a party serves a Notice Disputing a Fact or Document; and

                     (b)  the fact or the genuineness of the document is later proved in the proceeding;

the party who served the Notice may be ordered to pay the costs of the proof.

8.03  Withdrawing admission

             (1)  A party may withdraw an admission that a fact is true or that a document is genuine only with the court’s permission or the consent of all parties.

             (2)  When allowing a party to withdraw an admission, the court may order the party to pay any other party’s costs thrown away.

             (3)  In subrule (1):

admission includes an admission in a document in the proceeding or an admission that is taken to be made under subrule 8.02(2).

Part 8.2Evidence

Note:       The Evidence Act 1995 applies generally to family law proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court, with some exceptions, for example, in child‑related proceedings (see section 69ZT of the Family Law Act).

Division 8.2.1General rules about evidence

8.04  How evidence may be given

                   Evidence in support of an application may be given:

                     (a)  by way of affidavit; or

                     (b)  orally, with the court’s permission.

8.05  Court may call evidence

             (1)  The court may on its own initiative call any person as a witness in proceedings and give directions as to examination and cross‑examination.

             (2)  The court may order a party to pay the expenses of the